Since the appointment of Commissioner Robert Doar in 2007, HRA has implemented a number of policy and procedural changes to assist fathers to be able to fulfill their responsibilities to their children and assist staff in recognizing the importance of fathers. The agency originally created NYC DADS with the purpose of helping low-income dads connect to the children while promoting responsible fatherhood. Through this initiative, HRA has held large scale events, created a website and Facebook page, and a citywide subway campaign.
Additionally, internal communication from the Commissioner to staff has conveyed the importance of fathers. Advancing initiatives to assist fathers include: the Low Income Dads program, funding of Child Support Specialists in HRA’s employment programs, funding of parenting classes, expanding fathers’ access to employment programs, implementation of programs to reduce child support debt owed to the government, promoting the EITC for non-custodial dads, and expanding and upgrading the role of OCSE’s Outreach division.
There are several new father-friendly initiatives underway in HRA. They include a cash assistance pilot which will allow custodial parents applying or receiving cash assistance and residing in Manhattan to establish a child support order outside of court and a joint effort with the Mayor’s Office to create jobs for men interested in working in the Early Childhood Development field.
For more information about HRA and its fatherhood programs click here.