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The Center for Urban Families | The RIDGE Project | Healthy Families San Angelo


The Center for Urban Families

The RIDGE Project | Healthy Families San Angelo | Top

The Center for Urban Families in Baltimore, MD, emphasizes mediation activities to help parents build co-parenting relationship skills. Sometimes working with traditional third-party mediators, the program prefers non-traditional mediation activities designed to help parents gradually learn to cooperate with each other.

The program helps fathers understand the need to change some of their behaviors, and helps mothers see that the fathers are sincere in adopting new behaviors. In Art With a Heart, mothers are encouraged to come to the center and observe fathers and their children working together in a mosaic project. Center for Urban Families President and CEO Joe Jones noted, “Our fatherhood team has done a great job getting moms to understand that things are changing. That’s not easy when a father may have told her a thousand times ‘I’m going to change.’ But our team gets moms to come in and see what we’re doing.

The center also operates Couples Advancing Together, a pilot program in partnership with the Maryland Department of Human Resources. Couples Advancing Together provides healthy relationship skills-building, employment assistance, and case management services for couples with children receiving public benefits through the Department of Social Services. The pilot features a 6-week (12 sessions) curriculum, home visits, and long-term follow-up. Group sessions are led by skilled facilitators who create a learner-centered, positive, respectful, and comfortable environment that allows couples to share their experiences and knowledge with peers. With assistance from family services coordinators and group facilitators, participants develop a family self-sufficiency plan to help them set family and career goals, compete in the job market, and develop family budgets. Transportation assistance, child care, and dinner for parents and their children are provided.


The RIDGE Project

The Center for Urban Families | Healthy Families San Angelo | Top

THe RIDGE Project in McClure, OH, works with incarcerated fathers and their partners or spouses during the fathers’ time in prison and upon their return to the community. In working with individuals and couples, the RIDGE Project stresses five key principles of healthy families:

  • Friendship – Building lasting bonds through fun and laughter, and sharing life’s struggles and victories while committing to being loyal.
  • Faithfulness – Affirming your family’s intrinsic value, and demonstrating steady allegiance to fulfilling your duty to protect, love, and defend them.
  • Forgiveness – Moving beyond offenses from others to experience the freedom that comes from releasing others for the larger purpose of family strength.
  • Fairness – Learning to see in your circumstances the opportunity to use effective communication skills to resolve conflict and strengthen your relationships.
  • Fortitude – Facing danger and enduring pain or adversity together with strength of mind, will, and purpose.32

The RIDGE Project offers the following tips for building skills in these five key areas:

  • Friendship
    • Affirm your admiration for your spouse and children by telling them each 10 positive things about themselves every day.
    • Tell your friends and family members at least three good things about your spouse every time you talk to them.
    • Schedule at least 1 hour a day of uninterrupted time to spend with your family. Focus on fun group activities that build friendship (build a fire, play a game, go on a walk, cook a meal together).
  • Faithfulness
    • Make a list of things you can do to demonstrate your allegiance. For example:
      • Refrain from pointing out your spouse’s faults.
      • Remain silent or say something encouraging instead of criticizing your loved one when he or she makes a mistake.
    • Pause and ask yourself these questions when you are tempted to be unfaithful in your words or actions:
      • Will this bring honor to my family?
      • Will this bring honor to my spouse?
      • Will this bring honor to me?
  • Forgiveness
    • ​Make a list of people you need to forgive and a list of people you need to ask for forgiveness..
  • Fairness
    • Write down examples of when you felt you were treated unfairly or dishonored by a loved one. For each instance, list the actions or words that were unfair and note what you would have wanted your loved one to say or do instead.
    • On a separate sheet of paper, list examples of when you have been unfair to a loved one. For each instance, indicate what you should have said or done instead.
  • Fortitude
    • Make a list of the adversities your family has faced with fortitute and indicate how those obstacles have helped make your family stronger.
    • Connect with each member of your family once a week to ask if there is a difficult situation that they are facing.33

Healthy Families San Angelo

The Center for Urban Families | The RIDGE Project | Top

Healthy Families San Angelo in Texas focuses on:

  • Supporting healthy mother-child and father-child interaction.
  • Supporting healthy child development.
  • Increasing family functioning by improving couples’ relationship and problem-solving skills.
  • Increasing each parent’s ability to provide financially through education, job training, and employment services.

Services begin prenatally or at the birth of the child and include home visits, group sessions, social activities and family outings, and connections to other community services. The Dads Make a Difference program is designed to help fathers connect emotionally with their children. In addition to the overall family services, fathers can participate in dad meetings and father/child play activities. Couple Time is a group-based service that brings couples together in a relaxed atmosphere to discuss the skills and information they need to build strong, productive relationships.34