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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Initiative Summaries

Initiative Program Accomplishments

I. The Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative Public Awareness Campaign has been responsible for generating over 15,000 calls from fathers to our First Call for Help line seeking services to assist them in becoming better fathers. (Radio ads, billboards and bus ads etc.)

II. The Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative has annually invested dollars in programs and services to help fathers in Cuyahoga County since its inception. These dollars have created programs and services to increase educational, vocational, and employment opportunities for unemployed, underemployed, and formerly incarcerated fathers and to improve the life skills of fathers in areas such as parenting, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, etc. We currently fund 12 fatherhood programs.

III. As part of the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative an audit was conducted of every county department to ensure that fathers are treated fairly when they come to the county for services and included in the process when there are issues involving children.

IV. In June of 2005, the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative hosted the first ever public sponsored forum created specifically to promote healthy father-child relationships, address the social problems that result from “father absence and strategize as to what we must do, as a community to ensure that every child has a dad in his or her life. Over 2,400 dads and their children attended the two-day event. The annual conference has continued to grow each year; 3,000 attendees in 2006, 3,600 in 2007, 3,800 in 2008 and the 2009 and 2010 Fatherhood Conferences each had over 4,000 fathers and their children in attendance.

V. Cuyahoga County is the only one of 88 counties in Ohio to have a program of this magnitude addressing the issue of fatherhood.

VI. Some of the Programs sponsored:
  • Fathers and Families Together (FAFT) program at the Center for Families and Children
  • Rising Above Program 
  • Co-Parenting Classes throughout the county for unmarried parents
  • Passages Program - Career Planning and Re-entry programs for ex-incarcerated fathers
  • Programs for Hispanic fathers through the Nueva Luz community agency
  • Special Event grants through the Neighborhood Centers Association and the Neighborhood Collaborative agencies
  • Health Education Seminars and Health Fairs through South Pointe, Hospital, Huron Hospital and the Minority Men’s Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic
  • A help desk collaboration between the Custody Mediation/Visitation Department and the Child Support department
  • A Supervised Visitation Program at the Domestic Violence Center
  • Fathers and Sons and Fathers and Daughters Weekend Retreats
  • Programs for first time and teen fathers. (Tot Line Tip Sheets for Fathers of Small Children, First Time Father Visits, Expectant Father Programming)
  • Public Awareness Program
  • Prevention of Premature Fatherhood Program