google-plus2 rss2 facebook < /path> twitter blogger tumblr2 reddit linkedin delicious myspace stumbleupon mail Digg

The Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative is Helping to Keep Children and Parents “Safe and Sound”

by Rochelle Beard , Marketing & Communications Program Officer, Office of Child Support Services
Playground and basketball court at the Safe and Sound supervised visitation center. The Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative invests dollars in programs and services to help fathers. As we recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, the Fatherhood Initiative is proud to support the Safe and Sound Supervised Visitation Program of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center (DVCAC). The program provides services for families that are mandated to participate in supervised visitation. In addition to ongoing supervised visitation, fathers who participate in the program attend fathering classes designed to build the skills that lead to successful parenting and stronger families. Safe and Sound provides an option to fathers who desire to spend time with their children in a positive atmosphere.

Ensuring the safety of the children receiving services is a top priority of DVCAC’s Safe and Sound Visitation Center, the Fatherhood Initiative and the Cuyahoga County Office of Child Support. Al Grimes, the Director of the Fatherhood Initiative, notes that Safe and Sound “eliminates a barrier for fathers to spend time with their children under circumstances that may create stress or drama.”

Play room at the Safe and Sound supervised visitation center.The center helps build affirming and satisfying relationships in a safe, comfortable environment. Children who participate in the program benefit from knowing that their non-custodial parent cares and wishes to be actively involved in their lives. By spending regular, quality time together, positive relationships are formed, and the parent/child bond is strengthened.

The Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center also facilitates supervised exchanges from one parent or guardian to the other. Often times, protection orders or other circumstances make such an arrangement necessary, although supervised visitation is not mandated. This service is available for parents who were previously ordered to supervised visitation but have shown that they are ready to move to the next step of spending unsupervised time with their child.

Recognized as one of the premier programs of its type, the Safe and Sound Supervised Visitation Center follows the best practice recommendations outlined in "Guiding Principles for Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange" by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.



Play room at the Safe and Sound supervised visitation center.“At first, I did not want to be a part of the program I thought it was unfair for me to have to see my child while someone else watches me. Once I started visitation there, I met some nice people. The staff offered assistance when necessary and treated me and my child with respect. They also had things for us to do while visiting like air hockey, basketball, and video games. I like the fact that they didn’t take sides and allowed me to be a father to my child. I truly appreciate Safe and Sound. I am now spending time with my child unsupervised.” -Visiting father



If you or someone you know can benefit from the services of Safe and Sound, contact Rena Minor at (216) 229-2420 x257 or rminor@dvcac.org.