Below are some of the key policy issues that have been the focus of the Center's advocacy in recent years.
The Center strives to advocate for changes in policies that invoke negative consequences on the father/child relationship. Most often these consequences are unintended and are the result of minimalizing the importance of fatherly involvement in the lives of their children. Below is a list of some key policy issues that have been the focus of the Center's advocacy in recent years.
- Advocated for a raise in the self-support reserve in the South CarolinaChild Support Guidelines, which was raised from $500 to $749 per month. The result was that low-income fathers were more capable of paying for very basic living expenses while owning their duty to child support. Having more money per month meant more consistent payments over time and fewer fathers choosing to either work in an underground economy or leave the state to avoid incarceration. Strom Thurmond Institute Cost of Living analysis
- Advocated for alternative strategies to enforce child support against uneducated, unemployed and underemployed fathers. The result was the implementation of the very successful Jobs-Not-Jail alternative sentencing component of the fatherhood programs. Sentencing Reform Commission briefing paper
- Advocated for uniform and plain language self-represented litigant forms for visitation rights by testifying in hearings held by the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission (SCATJC) and participated in an SCETV documentary. The result is that Commission members resolved to produce a uniform visitation packet for self-represented litigants
- Advocated for the inclusion of noncustodial fathers in the investigative stages of
a Child Protective Services investigation. The result is a
Memorandum of Understanding with SCDSS to create a written protocol
for including fathers early in their investigations and "father
friendly" training for CPS caseworkers by June 2010. The
ultimate goal is to avoid children being placed
in foster care when willing and capable parents/extended family can
provide for their care. Fatherhood
and Fostercare presentation
- Working closely with workforce investment agencies to improve access by addressing barriers in the system which prevent low-income candidates from accessing training which would help them compete in today's emerging job markets.
- Advocated for ensuring that low-income fathers in the community are aware of the importance of placing their names in the newly enacted Putative Father Registry. Putative Fatherhood Registry briefing paper