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Breaking Barriers

While fathers can take steps to reconnect with their children by participating in fatherhood programs, they often encounter barriers to reconnecting with their children that are rooted in policies, practices and societal attitudes. No matter how successful a father may be in achieving his personal goals, these policies and attitudinal barriers are difficult, nearly impossible, to overcome alone. Therefore, the Center, local programs and countless grass roots advocates join together to help educate decision- makers about these very policies, that though well-intended, often elicit unintended consequences which prevent fathers from getting closer to their children. And yet much more work, too, needs to be accomplished to help erase society's negative stereotypes through increased awareness and advocacy.

Giving Fathers a Voice

Because society has formed negative sterotypes of fathers, the Center often collaborates with partners and the media to help share positive stories of fathers, their triumphs and stories of a new beginning. Fathers desperately want to be known and understood for who they are … responsible loving fathers who are getting a second chance in life. The Center helps fathers to tell their story and to give them a voice. Read more about fathers' perspectives.

Up Against A Wall

Non-custodial fathers whose children have been removed from the custodial parents home have faced a bureaucracy unaccustomed to non-custodial fathers' concern for their children's well being and willingness to help address any problems the family may be experiencing. As a result, non-custodial fathers were given no opportunity to be involved in their child's life and decision-making about their well-being when the child was removed from the custodial mother's care. Fathers were frustrated and concerned that in spite of their efforts to become involved they met resistance. Through collaboration with the Center and the South Carolina Department of Social Services and a pilot project with Upstate Fatherhood Coalition, we are reducing barriers and improving attitudes towards non-custodial fathers. Read more about this collaboration with child welfare.