Today we’d like to introduce you to Charles C. Daniels Jr. and Samantha Fils-Daniels.
Mrs. Samantha Fils-Daniels is the co-founder of Fathers’ Uplift, INC. She grew up with an active and engaged father.
When she was born, her mother and father split up. She says, “I always felt as if my father was there,” even though her father resided in Florida and she lived in Haiti with her mother. Although there was distance, she always felt that her father was active in her life; “I was a daddy’s girl and would periodically tell my mom I will call my dad on you.” When she thinks about the support she received from her father, she often reflects on an incident when he thought she was scheduled to have surgery after receiving a call from her mother. He was so concerned he flew to Haiti the next day to see what was going on with her. That moment permanently solidified that feeling of know that her father would always be there when she was in need. At the age of 10, she moved in with her father and his family in Fort Myers, Florida where she remained until she went off to college. At age of 19, she met her future husband Charles Daniels, at Bethune Cookman University.
Charles’s story was different. He was a product of fatherlessness and witnessed his mother’s struggles as a single parent. As Daniels thought about his father and his father’s absence from his life, he took an unexpected approach: “I thought about the things he was going through that prevented him from remaining active in my life,” he says. “Then I said to myself, ‘What if someone had been there to help him?’ It might have made a tremendous difference.”
Through both of their experiences and narratives, they set a goal to make sure that no child would feel the way Charles felt, and founded Fathers’ Uplift. They wanted to ensure that all children experience the feelings associated with having an active father, even if they are not in the same country, the same city, the same state and same home.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it has not been a smooth road but it’s been an enriching process. Every bump, denial, and rejection propelled us. Eventually, as we worked through any struggles in our path, Fathers’ Uplift become the country’s first outpatient mental health clinic for fathers and families. We are now at a place where we’ve figured out how mental health can positively be used to strengthen fatherhood and families.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Fathers’ Uplift, INC. story. Tell us more about the business.
Traditionally, parental mental health services target mothers, especially during the prenatal and postpartum stages of parenthood. However, the mental health of fathers is often overlooked, even though the birth of a child presents significant life changes for them as well.
Fathers’ Uplift, the nation’s first Outpatient Mental Health Clinic for Child, Paternal Health, and Male Engagement, was established to provide fathers with the clinical mental health care to more easily adjust to the challenges, emotions and needs of becoming and being a father.
Fathers’ Uplift is Massachusetts’ first agency accepted as a provider for outpatient services for fathers and families with the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership and Beacon Health Options.
Under this new status, the services provided by Fathers’ Uplift are covered by the following health insurance plans:
- Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership
• Beacon Health Strategies
o Boston Medical Center Health Net
o Fallon Community Health Plan
o Neighborhood Health Plan
o Senior Whole Health
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• EAP (Employee Assistance Program)
• Harvard Pilgrim
• United Behavioral Health
Today, Fathers’ Uplift offers services to guide both men and families through three stages of fatherhood: pre-father education, fatherhood preparation and fatherhood re-engagement. The team’s social work clinicians, who specialize in trauma, anger management, group counseling, individual counseling, and child and family counseling, provide clinical support to fathers and their families. The organization also leads fathers’ retreats and provides coaching to fathers to help them overcome the challenges and barriers they may encounter that would prevent them from remaining engaged in their children’s lives.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We are not sure if luck played a role at all. Nonetheless, we are convinced that our faith, purpose and motivation to ensure that the 25 million children growing up without their fathers can have an opportunity to reunite with a healthy father.
- Address:100 Warren Street Boston, MA 02119
- Website: www.fathersuplift.org
- Phone: 6177080870
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Fathersuplift
- Facebook: FUplift
- Twitter: FathersUplift
Jesse Costa/ WBUR
Kevin York Communications