History of Tarrant County’s Partnership with the Fatherhood Initiative

The HISTORY of Tarrant County’s partnership with Fatherhood Initiative

(1989-2000)   Sue Koenig 360th District Judge for Tarrant County and resigned.

(2000- 2010)  Debra Lehrman 360th District Judge for Tarrant County

(2003)               While President and the Course Director for the AFCC, Lehrman revises Family Code 1007.001-.31 providing immunity for amicus attorneys as she sits on the Texas Legislation Ad Hoc Ad Litem Committee.  Lehrman has held many titles with AFCC since 2000.

New court-appointed position of an amicus attorney, Texas Family Code 107.009 states amicus attorneys provide ‘ legal services necessary to assist the court in protecting a child’s best interest rather than to provide legal services to the child’. This code offers immunity and amicus’ are not liable for civil damages arising from action taken, a recommendation made or opinion given in the capacity of an amicus attorney.

(2005)                   Texas AFCC initiated the Parenting Coordination Statute, 153.606, which provides all court appointed coordinators similar immunity to amicus attorneys. One of the receipents of Tarrant County Workforce Solutions Grant money, NewDay Services for Father’s Rights, was given free office space at the Tarrant County Family Courthouse.  This is the first and only non-profit organization allowed in court.

(2008)                   NewDay Services create curriculum for non-resident fathers to get back involved with their children.

(2009-2010)        NewDay Services trains 400 CPS supervisors and investigators in 19 counties in Texas.

(2009)                   Fatherhood Coalition of Tarrant County collaborate with the Texas Dept. of Family Protective Services to form pilot program “Bringing Back the Dads” to reengage fathers in children’s lives.  Tarrant County  Family Court Services (Janet Denton) was named in the $100,000 three consecutive year grant and would managing 3 other states to roll out same program: IN, WA and CO.   If successful the program would be instituted nationally.

(2010)                   Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County begin filing for grant money against Claims Resolution Act of 2010 through the HHS-OFA. (90FK0032-Tarranty County Workforce Board)  They would train specifically non-custodial fathers and partner with:

      • Tarrant County Fatherhood Coalition: Court- Ordered Fathers, F.A.C.T -Fathers and Children Together
      • Health and Human Services Department
      • Healthy Marriage/Healthy Families Coalition
      • Internal Revenue Services
      • Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
      • Office of the Attorney General
      • Strong Fathers, Strong Families
      • Santa Fe Youth Services
      • Tarrant County College
      • The Parenting Center
      • Fort Worth ISD
      • Dispute Resolution Services
      • Fort Worth Star Telegram
      • City of Fort Worth Health Department 

(2010)                   Texas  Attorney General, Greg Abbot, sends press release endorsing Tarrant County Family Court Services and NewDay Services.  These are federally funded grants to promote joint parenting skills.  “The Access and Visitation grants help… involved parents and benefit Texas taxpayers by ensuring parents financially support their kids.”

(2011)                   Tarrant County Family Services/NewDay Services, CO, IN and WA under Tarrant Cty Workforce Solutions grant for $2.1 million

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