What is Parents Are First (PAF)?

Parents Are First is funded under the federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund Grant and was awarded to Darlington County First Steps. PAF is a comprehensive program designed to mobilize community partners to enhance the availability and quality of services for young parents, ages 15-24, in Darlington County. The program focuses on both mothers and fathers and provides both direct and in-direct services to program participants. 


What is PAF's Focus?

Academic Achievement. Program participants are encouraged to stay in school or return to school to complete their education. PAF works closely with Darlington County School District high schools and Adult Education Department and local colleges including Coker College and Florence-Darlington Technical College. 

Pregnancy Prevention. Evidence-based programs, including Be Proud! Be Responsible! Be Protected!, are provided through workshops for program participants. The AC/DC, Access Condoms in Darlington County, provide free condoms at various locations throughout the county in locations including the Dad Cave, local barbershops, beauty salons, small businesses and individuals in the community.

Parenting. Evidenced-based curricula are used for parenting workshops for program participants. Parenting tips and articles are shared with program participants through a range of mediums including social media.

Fatherhood Initiative. The Dad Cave provides a safe and welcoming environment for young fathers served by PAF as well as fathers served by community partners to grow in their most important role as a dad. The Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum is used for weekly meetings covering a wide range of topics and as needed, fathers are provided support and direction in dealing with custody and child support issues. Enrichment activities include speakers from our community partners as well as the business community.


Why PAF is Important!

The first relationship between a parent and child determines much of a child's future. This relationship impacts their current and future health and development, relationships, emotional and psychological well- being, academic achievement and success, and their life choices. Educating young parents and giving them the skills and tools to be better parents has the potential to change the course of a young child's life. 



The Parents Are First Program is funded and supported by: 






To make an online referral for services, click here!