November 21, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families executive director participates in launch of national fatherhood initiative

The Center for Urban Families formally launched the National Practitioners' Leadership Institute (NPLI) at an October event at its headquarters in Baltimore, with Pat Littlejohn, executive director of the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, participating as part of a panel discussion at the launch event. NPLI is a national cohort-based initiative designed to improve outcomes for low-income fathers and families by strengthening the capacity of organizations and government agencies working in the responsible fatherhood and family strengthening. The launch introduced the first cohort of NPLI’s Leadership Academy and included remarks by Joshua DuBois, director of White House Office of Faith Based Neighborhood Partnership, among others. The NPLI works to promote the larger development and forward advancement of the human services field by fostering diverse venues for peer learning while establishing a broadened network of grassroots organizations dedicated to strengthening families and to providing quality services in responsible fatherhood, workforce development, and healthy relationship and marriage. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Pictured is Pat Littlejohn (middle) on the discussion panel at the launch of the National Practitioners' Leadership Institute.
November 19, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families’ impact reaches across the state

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families and its local affiliated programs are making an impact across South Carolina. Below are highlights from a few of those local programs: A Father's Place receives $19,400 jobs grantThe Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation recently awarded a grant of $19,400 to A Father's Place to support a job coach and related job development activities. The job coach will coordinate the Job Boot Camp, which is a weeklong intensive job readiness training offered once a month, and work with fathers to help find employment and arrange transportation. “Helping fathers find a job that pays a living wage is a critical step in rebuilding men's lives and reestablishing relationships with their children" said Wallace Evans, executive director, A Father's Place. "With this grant we are one step closer to our goals.” Midlands Fatherhood Coalition participates in town hall meetingMidlands Fatherhood Coalition joined WIS-TV and Parenting Solo October 20 in Columbia, South Carolina, for a town hall style meeting called "Disappearing Dads: Rebuilding the Family." The meeting discussed the recurring theme of fatherless homes and the impact it has on children. Charles Brown, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition assistant director, and Ron Hilton, regional job developer, served on the panel to discuss the importance of fatherhood and how the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition works to reconnect fathers with their families. Pictured after the meeting are (left to right) Charles Brown, Ron Hilton, actor Michael Jai White, Pat Littlejohn, Jimmie Whaley. Man 2 Man helps fathers become job readyMan 2 Man has put 51 fathers through a weeklong Job Boot Camp and introduced them to its job readiness/job skills training component throughout the year. Program participants received employment certification and/or job training in a number of areas, such as national forklift certification, construction labor & OSHA certification, heavy equipment operations and GED training. By gaining job skills training and certification, these fathers are more qualified for jobs so they can provide for their children and take one step closer to a stable life. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
October 14, 2012

Division of Child Support Enforcement partners with South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families on $2 million grant

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement recently awarded the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) Division of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) more than $2 million in a five-year grant to increase access to services for non-custodial parents who are behind in child support. The increased access will help non-custodial parents to consistently meet their child support obligations and provide for the financial wellbeing of their children. South Carolina was one of eight states to receive such a grant. The Center for Fathers and Families will be a major partner with the CSE on this project to help ensure that non-custodial parents are linked to employment opportunities, fatherhood programs and other community-based services. "With this grant we will bring ‘new eyes’ to the process and institutions involved with the fathers who owe child support," said Larry McKeown, CSE director. "We want to re-engineer business practices to make them more inclusive of fathers and their needs, such as ‘right sizing orders’ for child support and changing circumstances over time that affect ability to pay." Non-custodial parents will receive enhanced child support services, including help with modifying child support orders if necessary, possible reductions in child support debt owed to the state in return for consistent child support payments and finding alternatives to incarceration for enforcement; employment-oriented services that include job readiness, job placement and retention services; and responsible fatherhood/parenting activities using peer support. The project will help redefine the way child support cases are processed, and the way workforce and fatherhood services are delivered to low-income, non-custodial parents by making services more accessible and easier to navigate. The project will be launched in Bennettsville County, and the cities of Greenville, Conway/Georgetown and North Charleston. The SC Center for Fathers and Families and CSE have partnered on a number of projects over the years, including a planning grant that led to this grant, a project to help increase paternity establishment at the time a child is born, and to improve the pro se process for the modification of child support, including a new on-line interactive software and training video that is under development to help individuals navigate this process. Most notable has been the successful collaboration between CSE, the center and the family court to implement Jobs Not Jail, an alternative to incarceration for non-payment of child support. Jobs Not Jail has resulted in significant collection of child support that otherwise would not have been collected if non-custodial parents had been incarcerated. Equally as important, Jobs Not Jail has helped thousands of non-custodial parents find jobs, become responsible fathers and be involved in their children's lives. This new project will build upon this model that has been in place for more than a decade. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
October 10, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families’ Dawn Pender wins Health Care Hero award

The Columbia Regional Business Report honored Dawn Pender, nurse practitioner for the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, with its Health Care Hero award for Nurses at an October 3 ceremony in Columbia, South Carolina. Dawn was one of 20 finalists recognized at the 2012 Heath Care Heroes awards in front of a crowd of more than 200 people. The awards recognize people in the Midlands health care industry who are making a difference and have a passion for helping others. Finalists were recognized in seven categories: community outreach, first responders, health care professional, health care researcher, nurse, physician and volunteer. The winner in each category received the most points from the judges, which Dawn did in the nurse category. Dawn provides health care services to fathers in three of the Center for Fathers and Families’ programs. She teaches fathers about men's health, substance abuse and many other health issues. She also performs health screenings and connects fathers in need with healthcare providers as part of the center’s access to healthcare component. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
October 5, 2012

Touchdowns for Fatherhood: South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families teams up with TD Bank

Football season is in full swing and the cries of "Go Gamecocks" resonate at Williams-Brice Stadium on the campus of the University of South Carolina. When the Gamecocks score, so does the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. TD Bank, in partnership with the Center for Fathers and Families, is making a donation to the center each time the Gamecocks score a touchdown. In addition to the touchdown donations, TD Bank has provided two tickets to every home game to a lucky fatherhood participant and his child. For a recent game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lionel Williams (middle) and his son Jered Williams (right) received the two tickets. Jawaan Etheridge (left), a close friend of Jered's was also able to accompany the two. Lionel, a student at the University of South Carolina from 1982-1986, has attended several games over his lifetime, but this game in particular was extra special. "My son is a senior in high school and very busy. So those moments when we have some quality time together are few and far between," Lionel said. "For TD Bank to allow me to have that moment where we could just hang out together was just unbelievable." Lionel has been a participant of the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition for nearly a year now. The Midlands Fatherhood Coalition is one of six fatherhood programs throughout the state supported by the Center. The programs help fathers reconnect with their children and help meet the material, emotional and spiritual needs of their children. "Plain and simple, I would just like to say thank you to TD Bank for the tickets and the opportunity to enjoy a game with my son and his friend. I don't think they (TD Bank) understand how much this opportunity means for fathers like me, who are just trying to do the right thing, by being able to spend time and take care of my son," Lionel said. "I don't know if Jered realized the magnitude of the situation, but for me it was a very, very special night.” The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
September 14, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families continues to make a difference in fathers’ lives

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families has had a busy summer. Read the latest news about how the center is scoring for fatherhood at University of South Carolina Gamecocks football games, providing suits to unemployed men transitioning to the workforce and more. [More]
August 2, 2012

Editorial from The State: A decade of helping dads — and counting

The State newspaper published an editorial by Associate Editor Warren Bolton on August 2, the same day as the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families’ Decade of Dads celebration at The Zone at Williams Brice Stadium at the University of South Carolina in downtown Columbia, SC. [More]
July 3, 2012

SC Center for Fathers and Families and Men’s Wearhouse help local job seekers with National Suit Drive

This July, the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is partnering with Men’s Wearhouse for the fifth annual National Suit Drive, the nation’s largest collection of gently used business attire for men. [More]
May 21, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families to celebrate 10th anniversary with event at Williams Brice Stadium

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families will celebrate its tenth anniversary at an August 2 event at The Zone at Williams Brice Stadium, featuring guest speaker for the event is Coach Sam Wyche. [More]
March 22, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families Launches New Website and New Logo

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families recently introduced a new logo, which embodies the universal Christian symbol of the cross. It serves as a reminder that the center and local fatherhood programs are a beacon of hope for fathers and their families. The logo is shared with all members of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Along with the new logo, the center launched a new website, plus new websites for each of the local fatherhood programs.             

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