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The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families


Q) Who can join the program?

A)  The Lancaster Fatherhood Project seeks to assist fathers ages 18-35 who currently are not closely engaged with their children. Fathers with certain charges and/or histories will not be allowed to enroll. This includes, but is not limited to, fathers with violent charges, child abuse, or sex offenses.

Q) How can you join the program?

A)  A father who is interested in joining the Lancaster Fatherhood Project, Inc. needs to set up an initial meeting with program staff. Offices are located in Lancaster.  At the initial meeting, staff will give an overview of the program and expectations of participants

Q) How can Lancaster Fatherhood be contacted

A) Please see our contact us page or if you are looking for a specific staff member, check the staff page.

Q) What is ATI?

A) ATI or Alternative To Incarceration programs provide the court system and low income fathers with an alternative to incarceration for non-payment of child support. The focus is not to have the father avoid his financial responsibility to his children, but to assist in creating an environment that enables him to do so.

As such, the premise is twofold: 1) to connect potential incarcerated fathers with fatherhood programs designed to overcome barriers to appropriate financial and emotional support and 2) to save the state of South Carolina and taxpayers millions of dollars annually by not incarcerating the fathers who seek to reconnect with their families, but instead working with them on issues related to child support, legal issues, visitation and skill training.

Q) Is there a fee?

A) There is no cost to enroll and anyone who is an enrolled participant may take part in any event, workshop, session and etc. for free.

Q)What is the difference between a non-custodial parent and a custodial parent?

A) A custodial parent is the parent who has custody of the child(ren). A non-custodial parent does not have custody of the child(ren).

Q) Is there a mother's place or an agency that serves women and mothers?

A)  There are agencies within our community that serve women and mothers; referrals to outside agencies are available. 

Q) Does the Project serve young males or youth in general?

A) The Project only serves fathers (and mothers) 18-35 that fit the criteria for the program.

Q)When do the fathers meet as a group?

A) Group meetings are held every Thursday. Meetings in the Lancaster office start at 4:00 pm.

Q)Who may attend your group sessions?

A) Our sessions are open to all enrolled program participants. Visitors must be approved by the Project/Site Director before attending group sessions.

Q) What is Education Assistance? Will you pay for my education?

 A) The Lancaster Fatherhood Project does pay for education in specific instances. Further it assists participants with finding opportunities and resources to secure desired education or technical training that will allow them to get a job or to get a better paying job. This includes GED classes, computer training, etc.

Q) What is Employment Assistance? Will you give/get me a job?
A) The Project assists participants in finding a job or finding a better paying job. We have a Job Coach on staff to assist participants in all phases of employment including interviewing skills, job retention skills, resume preparation, etc.

Q) Will you make a child support payment for me?
A)  The Project does not make child support payments; however, we assist fathers with information and referrals to ensure child support payments are correct based on current income.

Q) Can the mother of my children make me pay back-child support?
A)  No, the order for child support is mandated by the court. The mother of your children can file for child support and then it' s up to the court to decide whether or not you (or the non- custodial parent) will have to pay child support.

Q) How do I get visitation with my children?
A)  Primarily you would use an attorney if you can afford one, however, the Lancaster Fatherhood Project has pro se visitation packets and assistance completing forms available to its participants. We also host legal workshops to provide education about the legal system.

Q) What does Pro Se mean?
A)  Pro Se means to represent oneself in court without the assistance of an attorney.

Q)  Are you attorneys?
A)   No but the project does have attorneys on staff to assist participants with legal issues and to provide legal education.