What WE Do
At DADS, we aim to restore hope in fathers, children and families by addressing the barriers separating fathers from being present in the lives of their children. When a father comes to D.A.D.S., they often don’t know where to start. With many staff who have been in the same position, we seek to meet fathers where they are and help them navigate complicated systems to continue their journey back toward their children. We seek to address the whole person in helping fathers overcome child support debt, build financial and personal stability, connect with supportive community and reunite in positive relationships with their children and families. While we serve all regardless of faith, we at DADS have witnessed the redemptive power of Jesus to transform lives and reconcile families.
To model healthy relationships as a means of creating healthier fathers and families.
To stop the cycle of family violence and brokenness in order to improve the lives of children.
To encourage fathers to become agents of change in their communities.
Give fathers hope by walking together in supportive community, helping navigate relational and legal barriers that separate them from their children and families.
Marvin and Jeanett Charles started DADS in their living room in 1998. They wanted to apply the lessons they had learned during their own recovery and the rough period when they put their family back together. They had been homeless, unemployed addicts with a 'sketchy' life of those who operated beyond the boundaries of the formal economy. Marvin and Jeanett had lost several of their children to the foster care system, under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Child Protective Services (CPS). They were facing termination of parental rights when a CPS worker gave them a 90-day deadline to become sober, find housing and find employment. They took strength from their renewed religious beliefs in the saving power of Jesus and their commitment to each other.
Today, they live in their own home with three daughters and a son. One former CPS caseworker worked part-time in the office as administrative assistant to Jeanett. Many community leaders and volunteers support DADS and the important work that DADS does.
Much has changed since 1998, while so much has remained the same for fathers who are down and struggling. Whether they are recovering from addiction, coming out of prision or just dealing with the difficulties of life, DADS works with fathers, one dad at a time, to strengthen and support them and to help them build a better world for their children.
Program Measurement and Outcomes:
DADS intends that every participant in the program eventually reaches the highest level of personal development. A high percentage of those who stay connected to the program go on to achieve a sustained level of success including employment, family reunification, community service, increased child and family support payment, and reduced recidivism.
Success is measured by ongoing client participation, progress toward child contact and family reunification, and data counts of new clients, office visits, support groups, demographics served services requested. In addition, DADS externally validates outcomes by annual direct- data matches with the Washington State Division of Child Support and Department of Corrections.
These data matches have consistently shown:
• Significant percentage increase in child support repayment rates
• Significant debt reduction in child support arrears (debt)
• Millions of dollars in savings WA state TANF support to needy families – indicating they are achieving increased ability for self–support
• Significant reduction in prison recidivism rate, resulting in millions of dollars in savings for WA state prison cost
DADS is interested in conducting a longitudinal study of its effect on multi-generational father absence and is seeking academic and funding partners for this study
From 1998-2021, Dads has served:
4,728 Fathers or noncustodial Parents and 12,573 children.