DADS is a grassroots organization 501(c)(3) that is leading a movement to have an impact on the epidemic of the absence of fathers in America. DADS gives fathers hope by walking together in supportive community, helping navigate relational and legal barriers which 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.