CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - At this year's Fatherhood Initiative Conference hundreds of people, mostly fathers from around Greater Cleveland, came together to talk about how to be better dads.
"Reading them at a young age stimulated the ability to converse with them now that they're older. Not only is it about education, it's about relation," one father said, on the topic of being involved with your children.
That's much of what the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative is all about.
"Being a dad is one of the most amazing things when you have the ability to form and to mold and to make innocent individuals teaching them how to be great people, great citizens," said Giles Foster, who was honored as Father of the Year.
Foster has six children and one on the way. The big smile he wears on his face tells the real story about how much he loves his children and his being their dad.
"When those little people look at you in the face and just say, 'I love you, you're best in the world, dad,' it means so very much to me," he said.
The men at the conference attended workshops on topics ranging from child support and custody to financial literacy and the image of fathers in media.
"When fathers are not involved children are more likely to do drugs, more likely to d rop out of school, more likely to commit crimes, more likely to become teen parents themselves," said Al Grimes, director of the initiative.
Cuyahoga County has received a $200,000 gr ant to help cut down on the number of infant deaths from fathers accidentally smothering their baby while sleeping.
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