Father with child on shoulders

The Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative (CCFI) seeks to strengthen families in our community by encouraging fathers to play a more active role in nurturing and raising their children. The Initiative responds to escalating social concerns regarding "father absence" by providing fathers with access to services designed to prepare them to better meet the emotional, psychological, and financial needs of their children. The CCFI also seeks to increase public awareness of the importance of father involvement.

Research has conclusively shown that children with involved and loving fathers are much more likely to be financially and emotionally secure. Fathers, you matter, and the assistance you need to become the father your child needs is more accessible today than ever before. The Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative has options and opportunities for you...just call 216.436.2000 or 211. 

The information below is for various fatherhood programs in Cuyahoga County.  Please see the point of contact for more information on each program.

Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative Funded Programs

211 Fatherhood Line

The United Way program provides the 211 Fatherhood line in Cuyahoga County that links men to the services and programs they need to become better fathers or reconnect with their families. For more information please call (216) 436-2000 or 211.

Boot Camps for New Dads Program

MetroHealth partners with hospitals within the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital systems to provide the Boot Camps for New Dads program. Hospitals included in the collaboration are Fairview Hospital, Hillcrest Hospital, MetroHealth, Southwest General Hospital, Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center, University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital and Womankind. For more information please call Sandi Hoch - (216) 778-3372.

Custody and Parenting Time Program

This Office of Child Support (OCSS)/Justice Services collaboration strengthens the link between paternity establishment, custody, and visitation for fathers. Justice Services provides a staff person in the child support building to inform parents of their rights to visitation and assists them to begin the mediation process. Mediation assists in the development of a parenting plan and may lead to participation in a parenting education program. For more information please call Susan Organiscak - (216) 698-4996.

Dads Count Program

The Children's Museum of Cleveland's Dads Count Program provides fathers and father figures a venue to interact with their children in activities based around the topics in which fathers are especially effective role models. Some events/classes have interactive themes that promote educational achievement through activities involving math, science, literacy and problem solving. Other events/classes have interactive themes that promote physical activity, health and safety. Each class gives fathers the tools to extend learning at home and provides a packet with informative resources on all themes. For more information please call Shannon Post or Kelsey Tarase - (216) 791-7114.

Fathers and Families Together Program (FAFT)

The overall goal of this program located at .the Centers for Families and Children Building is to assist fathers to enhance their parenting skills through participation in a series of educational life skills workshops and group support activities. The program provides fathers with father/child activities that encourage fathers to be a healthy role model. Workshops for fathers and parenting partners are offered to promote effective parenting. For more information please call Artis Gaines - (216) 325-9124.

Healthy Fathers Program

The Healthy Fathers Program engages fathers in school based fatherhood programming at three K-8 CMSD schools: Fullerton, Mound, Willow and Warner Girls Leadership Academy in addition to the fatherhood programs at University Settlement. For more information please call Frederick Knuckles - (216) 641-8948 ext. 228.

Jobs for Dads

The Passages program provides counseling, job referral/employment readiness services, development of individualized plans for strategic steps toward employment and independence, crisis intervention and mentoring for young fathers. This program focuses on the population of ex-offenders and men with limited skills. Passages has extensive experience working with incarcerated or newly released ex-offenders and provides career planning and re-entry counseling for these fathers. For more information please call Reverend Moore- (216) 881-6776.

Prevention of Premature Fatherhood

This program targets teen males aged 12-17 to prevent premature fatherhood with a curriculum that is intertwined with after school community events for male youth and families. This program is available to be held at locations in all communities throughout the county. For more information please call Brandy Eaton - (216) 201-2000 ext. 1327.

Public Awareness Program

The goal of the Public Awareness Campaign is to promote the message of the importance of responsible fatherhood in the lives of children. The Public Awareness Campaign includes developing ads and purchasing of advertising to promote the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative. Various media outlets are used including radio, television, billboards, and print ads in kiosks and buses. For more information please call Joseph Hewitt - (440) 565-7720.

Rising Above Program

This is a Workforce Development/Training program at Career Development and Placement Strategies aimed at non-custodial fathers. It is a four-week training program with the goal of assisting fathers to reconnect with their families and preparing them to be a productive part of the workforce. Rising Above provides career readiness, career path counseling, relationship workshops, and job placement. For more information please call Maurice Stevens - (216) 881-5866.

"Safe & Sound" Supervised Visitation Program

The Supervised Visitation Program provides services for families currently mandated to participate in a supervised visitation program through the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy. Center. In addition to ongoing supervised visitation, fathers who participate in the program will attend fathering classes designed to build the skills that lead to successful parenting and stronger families. Supervised visitation and the fathering classes are presented at the Community Care Network Building. For more information please call Deborah Benn - (216) 229-2420 x257.

Strong Fathers Program

The Strong Fathers Program at Murtis Taylor is targeted at low-income males 25 years or younger who reside in Cuyahoga County. Strong Fathers uses both the 24/7 Dad and Active Parenting curriculums integrated with organized league sports to teach young fathers what it means to be a strong father. For more information please call Nate Phillips - (216) 283-4400 ext. 2284.

Towards Employment's (TE) Networks 4 Success Fatherhood Program (N4F)

Provides comprehensive job preparation training and employment components with a Fathers Group parenting education sessions based on best practices. The N4F assists fathers in building the skills necessary to gain and retain employment and be able to contribute both financially and emotionally to their families. The program also helps fathers improve their parenting skills. Job readiness workshops are four weeks of classroom instruction, Monday through Friday, with job club, job search and retention support following completion. For more information please call Gary Larkins - (216) 696-5750.