The Evolution of OPNFF Policy and Advocacy Work

June 2002 - Ohio fatherhood practitioners (future OPNFF board members) network at a national fatherhoood conference, planting seeds for future collaboration

May 2003 - Statewide town hall meeting about formation of a network of fatherhood practitioners

August 2003 - Formation of the OPNFF Planning Council

December 2003 - OPNFF established collaborative relationship with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to develop programs and policies to support fathers in the criminal justice system and their families

April 2004 - Official Incorporation of the Ohio Practitioners' Network for Fathers and Families

September 2006 - Released the OPNFF Public Policy Agenda

October 2007 - Co-Sponsored the Ohio Fatherhood Policy Forum with HHS Region V and the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

November 2007 - Celebrated the restoration of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF)

2008 to 2010 - OPNFF sponsors 5 regional Advance Fatherhood OHIO! Summits across the state to advance fatherhood policy issues.

2008 to 2019 - OPNFF participates in Ohio Child Support Guidelines Council to advocate for child support reforms, collaborating with the Ohio Office of Child Support and the Ohio Child Support Director's Association

2009 to 2019 - OPNFF hosts Region V Fatherhood Collaboration Information on opnff.net website

2012 to present - OPNFF and the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood develop numerous public-private collaborations in support of fathers and families, practitioners and father-inclusive public policy and practice

2015 to 2019 - OPNFF works with OCF and the Ohio Department of Health on engaging and empowering fathers to prevent infant mortality

The Founding Story of OPNFF

In May of 2003 the Center for Families and Children of Cleveland hosted the first Fathers Matter Conference in the State of Ohio. With the support of Lee Fisher, CEO of CFC and Andy Calladine, Director of CFC's Fathers and Families Together Program,  a diverse group of fatherhood practitioners and stakeholders was brought together to discuss the importance of Fatherhood and the barriers faced by practitioners.  Conference participants provided input through a survey and comments offered during the event were instrumental in assisting the conference organizers in taking the next step towards supporting FATHERHOOD in Ohio.

Most participants agreed that there was a need for a Fatherhood Practitioner network in Ohio. Many offered to be part of a Council that would use the ideas submitted by participants at the Fathers Matter Conference in order to establish a grassroots effort to support and educate Practitioners in Ohio.

As a result, a Network Planning Council was formed and the first meeting was held in Columbus on August 8th, 2003. At this time all background information was reviewed in order to develop a strategic planning process. Monthly meetings were facilitated by consultant John Smith of NPNFF (National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families).  The Council continued to meet monthly in Columbus and developed an organizational frame work. A mission statement was crafted along with a vision, principles, goals and action steps.  In April of 2004, the Planning Council completed its work and the first Board of Directors of OPNFF was elected. 

OPNFF seeks to advance a fatherhood and family agenda in partnership with public agencies, grass roots faith and community based organizations, and local and state government entities.  In serving the entire State of Ohio, OPNFF has organized the state into five regions and has drawn from those regions to build the leadership body, with an emphasis on both urban metropolitan areas and rural and small communities.  Those regions and the major cities within them are:  Northeast (Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown), Northwest (Toledo), East (Zanesville, Marietta), West (Columbus, Dayton) and South (Cincinnati).     

Today, The Ohio Practitioners’ Network for Fathers and Families provides networking, training, resources, research, public policy updates, and other supports to father and family-serving practitioners across the State of Ohio.  The network has over 700 organizational and individual members and a mailing list of hundreds more practitioners and stakeholders in the fatherhood, marriage and family formation movement throughout the State of Ohio. 

Contact Us

Ohio Practitioners' Network for Fathers and Families (OPNFF)
P.O. Box 606194
Cleveland, OH  44106





* email is our preferred form of contact

Join Us

Membership in OPNFF is free and open to anyone!

Go to Join Us, fill out our online form and click submit.  It is as simple as that!

Thanks for all you do for Ohio's Children and Families

Donate Now

Please consider making a donation to support our activities and our shared mission.  Click on the button below to donate online


or mail donation checks, payable to OPNFF to:

P.O. Box 606194
Cleveland, OH  44106

All contributions are tax deductible.  Thank you for your support of Ohio's fathers and families!

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