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South Carolina fatherhood program helps father of two gain custody and become a better dad

South Carolina fatherhood program helps father of two gain custody and become a better dad

Coming home from prison last year meant change for Scotty Miles, father of two. “I went to the DSS office, and they said they cannot do anything because they were not involved anymore and sent me to A Father’s Way. I started doing the classes and it just really helped me a lot.”

A Father's Way is a program of the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, which is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. It supports six fatherhood programs in communities across the state to strengthen families through fatherhood engagement.

Having been away for three years, when he returned, he went to get his son from his mom, who he said was caught up with a drug dealer. "I found him with a random guy wearing no diapers and just running around naked, so I took him,” he shared. Unfortunately, “with some pending charges they couldn't give me my son, so they came for him. I was bad on drugs, but I have been clean for close to five years.”

He added, “For my son’s mother, after multiple failed drug tests and never making appearances when she had to visit, it became evident. When I went to court for my son, A Father’s Way was very influential and I was able to get custody on May 14, 2021."

He said that never seeing his daughter since she was born has been tough, but he plans to get her soon. "I have been calling every day since I got out but nothing. While paying my debt to society, her mother lost her. Constantly messaging those she is in foster care with and receiving no response, I have not been able to see her at all. They just sent me child support documents a week ago, so I go to court next week to figure out how much I’d be paying. I know that will give me grounds at least so that’s fine,” Miles said.

For work, he took over his dad’s company contracting with UPS, which takes care of him financially.

Miles said he picked up how important it is to pay attention to detail from the program – especially how his kids feel. One thing that stuck with him was to think about when he was a kid.

“Instead of yelling, even when they annoy me, I try to handle it better. I have never been one to be impatient with my children, but when you get kids, you realize sometimes they can get under your skin. A Father’s Way bettered me as a father," he explained.

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