Conway event tackles child support, employment issues for young fathers

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A candid conversation about fatherhood took place Monday night in downtown Conway.

A panel of young fathers, many who became fathers as teenagers, spoke to a group about the challenges that come with fatherhood at an early age.

“Any information I have to gain and I can give I’m going to,” said 24-year-old father of four, Kadeem Landy.  “I’m going to do it because somebody else might need it.”

Landy was one of five panelists who spoke at the event which was hosted by A Father’s Place and the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families.

“Whatever we need to do to help these young men, we’re there for them,” said Executive Director of A Father’s Place, Wallace Evans, Jr. The non-profit’s mission is to “help fathers overcome the barriers to being a responsible and involved father” and serves fathers in Horry, Georgetown, Williamsburg, Florence, Marion and Dillion counties.

The title of the discussion on Monday was: Understanding a Misunderstood Generation. Much of the conversation was about the struggles of paying for child support while still in school, keeping a job while taking classes and working out differences between the father and the child’s mother.

“We’re trying to do things like this to bring it to people’s attention,” said Program Manager for the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, Marc Himes. “This is focused on young fathers, but we work with every age group; anybody that has children under the age of 18. So that’s our goal, is to help these men and bring the issue to the forefront.”

Landy is currently a client at A Father’s Place and said he wants other young fathers to know there are resources available to them.

“Any advice, any help I can get to better my future as a father for my kids, I’ll take it hands down,” he adds.

A Father’s Place serves around 200 fathers a year and has job readiness, financial management, and co-parenting programs.