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New program gets $9.6 million grant to help Missouri families

For years, it has become increasingly well known that fathers play a very important role in their children's lives. Although historically the mothers have generally been known to be the "caregivers," courts in the United States and throughout the world are doing more and more to make certain that fathers maintain a presence with their children, especially for children of divorced parents. In an effort to maintain a healthy family, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families recently issued a $9.6 million dollar grant to the University of Missouri to research and develop a program geared toward helping families.

The program, titled "Show-Me Healthy Marriages and Relationships," is led by the assistant professor of human development and family science at the University of Missouri. The assistant professor explained that the state has higher levels of divorce and lower levels of marriage, in comparison to other states.

The program will be geared toward low-resource residents of Missouri and will expand to cover 21 counties within the state. Participants will take a relationship education class, and will choose additional classes such as parenting skills and personal health and well-being classes to become better parents.

For unmarried fathers who are seeking a stronger relationship and presence with their children, this program may help. In Missouri, there are paternity laws that help fathers regain and maintain healthy relationships with their children. If a father is looking to develop a stronger paternal relationship with his children, he may wish to speak with a family law attorney to see how to proceed.

Source: Eureka Alert!, "Researchers receive $9.6 million for program to strengthen families," Accessed on Nov. 24, 2015

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