February 8, 2007
A match made in D.C.?
One of the primary reasons many groups give for the limited availability of premarital counseling programming is the lack of available funding.
However, millions of dollars are spent every year in divorce proceedings, legal fees and mediation and, with that in mind, the federal government offers grants through the Administration for Children and Families' Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood program, established under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
The initiative provides $100 million in grants for faith-based groups and individuals to administer programs that fall under at least one of the following eight categories:
Many Jewish groups have yet to tap into these resources, because "they see it as a 'Christian' project" and might not agree with the government guidelines toward marriage and family, psychologist and author Dr. Joel Crohn said.
Those who oppose the federal grants argue that government-sponsored marriage promotion could encourage women to stay in abusive relationships by discouraging leaving a spouse in cases of domestic violence.
Proponents, however, say the programs can improve relationships by getting to the root of problems and encouraging couples to communicate, thereby reducing the incidence of domestic violence.
For more information, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/index.html