Our vision at Cuyahoga County is to have every father in the county have a productive positive relationship with his children because FATHERS MATTER.

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Help Me Grow

Help Me Grow
Help Me Grow has steadily expanded the inclusion of fathers in services and supports since the beginning of the Fatherhood Initiative. Many new opportunities for fathers to be actively involved in the care and support of their very young children have been created. Help Me Grow continues to monitor and provide input on father inclusion. The organization also works collaboratively to coordinate fatherhood activities and inform and direct policy changes related to fathers. Funding to several Help Me Grow providers to engage expectant and new fathers have helped to build capacity to work with fathers.

Initially, the Help Me Grow forms and curriculum were reviewed to ensure father-friendly language, procedures, and activities. Next, involvement of fathers in newborn and ongoing home visits was encouraged and highlighted. Increasingly, fathers have taken part in child developmental screenings and evaluations and educational sessions highlighting the benefits of a father’s participation in pregnancy, early child development, and the home environment.

Trainings for Help Me Grow professionals have highlighted the importance of father inclusion. For instance, a Help Me Grow Cultural Encounter for Help Me Grow Service Coordinators featured a panel discussion led by fathers.

Recently, the Help Me Grow Early Learning and Literacy Services provided community based activities and programs with 992 fathers participating in these activities. The Help Me Grow Family Literacy Services, in collaboration with the public library systems, have many fathers participating in library activities and in-home services.

Help Me Grow Family Support has increased involvement of fathers in playgroups and focus groups. About 30 Dads participated in the Family Support Annual Meeting. Family Support Specialists visit families in hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Units where fathers are often present and supported by Help Me Grow during this challenging time. The Help Me Grow Family Support Option Form also provides resources “Just For Dads”. 

Help Me Grow continues to explore new ways to promote involvement of fathers, male service providers, and male community leaders in all levels of Help Me Grow.