Tennessee invests $25 million in low income fathers through Families Matter and Maximus partnership
Families Matter, a nonprofit organization serving families through a variety of community partners, and Maximus, a leading employer and provider of government services worldwide, announced that the AFIRM (A Father’s Involvement Really Matters) program has been awarded a $25 million grant to help low-income fathers in Memphis, Tennessee.
AFIRM is a new and unique model targeted exclusively to fathers and the first to be piloted by a state in the U.S. The program is focused on achieving three key goals for low-income fathers: increase economic mobility and earning capacity; increase sustained child support payments; and develop potential for healthy parenting and co-parenting.
Families Matter was one of seven groups awarded – out of more than 80 – by the Families First Community Advisory Board to operate a pilot project as part of the Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative. Through this initiative, the state is investing in innovative safety net services that are evidence-based and demonstrate scalable and replicable service models. The Families Matter model is unique among the selected groups because it leverages the capacity and service expertise of companies like Maximus and is guided by national industry experts who have created some of the most prominent fatherhood service models in the country. Under the leadership and community credibility brought by Families Matter, the project will impact Memphis area fathers’ ability to provide both emotional and financial support for their children – building capacity of fathers to reduce dependency of their children on public assistance benefits.
“Our model respects that low-income men need – and access – services differently than traditional programs deliver,” said Carol Jackson, Executive Director, Families Matter. “Our vision is to permanently transform the way that low-income fathers are viewed and served by safety net and social programs. The deep experience that the combined staffs of Families Matter and Maximus brings to this project sets us up for long-term success, and we appreciate the state’s support of our program.”
Families Matter is relying on the support of Maximus and its decades of experience reaching and transforming under-resourced families and operational best practices for service delivery to help these types of programs. Maximus has been successful in Tennessee across many agencies, including its work supporting many of the state’s vulnerable populations through CoverKids and Families First programs for nearly a decade.
“We are excited to support Families Matter through the implementation of the AFIRM program, building on our continued commitment to help under-resourced families across Tennessee,” said Meshia Henderson, Vice President, Workforce Services, Maximus. “Thanks to our experience, we have a toolbox of repeatable processes and performance management protocols that are proven and successful. We know the importance of these types of programs and how this program will allow us to work together to transform the lives of more low-income fathers and their children.”
About Families Matter - A Faith-Based Organization
Families Matter is an organization serving families via schools, churches, hospitals, and a variety of community partners with whom we align to educate, enhance and encourage our clients to become their best selves. Experienced and transparent educators lead individuals into conversations based on principles that stand the test of time. These principles once received and eventually believed, are the beginning of true transformation, leading the individual and the family to a changed life and a restored legacy.