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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2022

Changing Lives for Fathers and Families in Lowcountry of South Carolina through its Community-Based Programs: Father to Father, Inc.

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“Our free 24-week fatherhood program is one of the most important services we provide because it is all-encompassing and is tailored to the needs of each father.”

Fathers play a pivotal role in every child's life. This role can have a large impact on a child and help shape him or her into the person they become. However, raising a child is not a drop-in-the-bucket. Fathers should have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out child-rearing responsibilities and provide their children with experiences and opportunities that promote child learning and development. This is when community-based comes in. Community-based programs provide support and information in ways that help parents become more capable competent increase their capacity to develop the skills to acquire resources, a support network, and services.

Father to Father, Inc. is one such firm that provides community-based programs and support groups for fathers, free of charge. The company helps fathers connect to other services they need to meet their responsibilities and secure their parental rights. They offer job coaching and employment connections that benefit fathers, their families, and employers in the communities. Father to Father, Inc. also serves as a resource for local organizations to provide family support and father-friendly services. The company is on a mission to help fathers in the South Carolina Low-Country be a positive and consistent presence in their children's lives.

Tom Swanciger, CEO of Father to Father, Inc., spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review about how his company is helping fathers to become responsible co-parents. Below is an excerpt.

Interview Highlights

Q. What inspired the creation of Father to Father, Inc.?

In 1998, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of SC offered a series of planning grants to local community organizations to develop programs that would address the issue of absentee fathers in the state of South Carolina. The groups that received the grants were asked to come up with innovative ways to help low-income, non-custodial fathers overcome the many barriers preventing them from being involved in the upbringing of their children. St. Peter's AME Church and several other local organizations formed a collaboration to seek one of these grants. Thus, Father to Father, Inc. was born.

Q. What's the company's point of differentiation?

The programs Father to Father provides are uniquely designed to help men heal broken spirits and family relations, practice healthy parenting and gain productive and stable employment.

Q. How responsive is Father to Father to the changing needs of fathers?

Very! Our free 24-week fatherhood program is one of the most important services we provide because it is all-encompassing and is tailored to the needs of each father. We do this through group sessions, individual sessions, and peer sessions, which help our fathers, grow in the ways they need to.

Q. How do Father to Father programs enable men to develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills to become responsible fathers and co-parents?

We have five core areas that we focus on during our fatherhood program: employability Bootcamp, economic mobility, healthy relationships, parenting/co-parenting, healthy father, and healthy family. Each area works together to help men develop knowledge, confidence, and skills to become responsible fathers and co-parents.

Q. How does the company help fathers overcome obstacles and succeed?

Through tailored individual sessions, fathers work with a designated staff member to work through obstacles and barriers they may run into while working through our programs.

Q. That's not all Father to Father does. What are its other focus areas?

Other focus areas include helping navigate the child support system guidance on establishing paternity or other legal matters. We also focus on the youth in the community through our Building Better Bridges program. We have collaborated with other organizations across the state of South Carolina to develop a program for at-risk youth called “Building Better Bridges”. Building Better Bridges focuses on providing informative knowledge to male youth ages 14 to 18 on how to be better citizens and future Father to their children so that they would less likely need a program like Father to Father. This nine-week program gives youth the tools necessary to be successful in their future and be positive role models.

Q. What new endeavors is the company currently undertaking?  

Father to Father is currently looking to expand our programs in the Low Country of South Carolinas. We are hoping to open two additional offices in 2022; this will only help further our mission and help countless individuals throughout our service area.

Q. How do you plan to counter challenges that you think Father to Father might face in the next five years?   

The same way we always do, we take the challenge head-on. Our team is dedicated to our mission and making a difference in people's lives; this will never change. We will continue to look for sustainable funding to keep our programs viable and fresh.

Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?

Father to Father is a nonprofit entity that provides all of our programming free of charge for all our participants. All we ask them is to give us their time and dedication, and we will take care of the rest.

The Ardent Visionary

Tom Swanciger is the Chief Executive Officer of Father to Father, Inc. He has been working with nonprofits for the past 25 years. He has worked with the YMCA in many states and most recently moved to Charleston to take the helm of Father to Father. When asked why the organization is so important to him, Mr. Swanciger stated, “Having a Father who is a powerful role model in my own life has provided me the drive to make sure all of our participants can be as amazing as my Father is! By giving men (and in some cases women) the proper guidance and tools, we are only setting them up for success in the future.”

“The programs Father to Father provides are uniquely designed to help men heal broken spirits and family relations, practice healthy parenting and gain productive and stable employment.”