Father absence is one of the most consequential trends of our time impacting mothers and fathers alike, but even more concerning, shaping the well being of our state's children and the very fabric of our communities. In 1996, the Foundation began examining the family structure and its connection to poverty. The statistics regarding the relationship between father absence and negative outcomes for children indicated a growing problem with significant social and economic consequences.
Thus in 1997 the Foundation launched a comprehensive initiative aimed at Reducing Poverty Through Father Engagement. The goal of the Fatherhood Initiative is to address a root cause of poverty by supporting communities that strengthen the engagement of fathers with their children and families as they improve the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of fathers and subsequently that of their children.
The Foundation was able to leverage resources for funding, technical assistance for local programs and disseminating information documenting the issues facing fathers and families as well as information about best practices and lessons learned through its partnerships like those with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) and the University of South Carolina's Institute for Families in Society.
In 2002 the Foundation created the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families as an outgrowth of its Fatherhood Initiative. The Center develops and supports a statewide infrastructure that strengthens relationships between fathers and families through out South Carolina. For more information, visit the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families Web site.