Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, October 3, 2001


"Bootstrap Project" helps low-income fathers overcome barriers to becoming successful parents

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn announced today that the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will receive a $105,245 federal grant to provide job training and parent education to young, low-income fathers who live apart from their children. The "Bootstrap Project" will address barriers that keep unemployed and underemployed noncustodial fathers from becoming regular child support payors and responsible parents.

"Many noncustodial fathers are too poor to pay child support because they did not complete high school and have little or no work experience. I want to help these young men overcome these problems so they can begin making meaningful contributions to their children's lives," Attorney General Cornyn said.

By working with the Texas Fragile Families Initiative and local workforce development boards, the OAG's Child Support Division will provide services to unemployed and underemployed fathers at project sites in Austin, Houston, Laredo and San Angelo.

Since assuming office in January, 1999, Attorney General Cornyn has encouraged collaborative efforts to assist parents by working with the Texas Fragile Families Initiative to provide counseling for young unmarried fathers and referring unemployed noncustodial parents to Texas Workforce Commission employment services.

Funding for the Bootstrap Project is authorized by Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will distribute $1.8 million in research and demonstration grants to Texas and 11 other states to support innovative programs for strengthening and improving the collection of child support.

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