About Pathway

Pathway’s History 

Jim and Velma Bridges

Founded in 1973 by Jim and Velma Bridges, Pathway Caring for Children is a private, non-profit social service agency. Jim worked as a social worker during college and watched young foster children move from home to home. He believed there was a better way to help abused, neglected and abandoned children. He began to envision a community based program that would provide support and training to foster families, so that these families could live through problems, and staff, parents, and children could work together as a team.  With just four boys in a group home on Spring Ave. in Canton, Pathway began its humble beginnings.

In the words of our founder, “I count myself as one of the most fortunate people in the world, because I have been able to see my dreams come true. That’s something that does not happen to most people. That long ago vision—to provide places where foster children can live through their problems with people committed to them—is happening every day now at Pathway.” -Jim Bridges

Today, Pathway continues to live out Jim’s vision of empowering the children and families we serve.


Our mission is to help children and families realize the possibilities of their lives through foster care, adoption, and mental health.


Strengthening the lives of children and families. 

7 Values

  • Love
  • Recognize
  • Respect
  • Security
  • Success
  • Responsibility
  • Personal

Join Our Mission

Help over 1,300 Northeast Ohio Children and Families realize the possibilities of their lives.

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Pathway Today ​​

  • 35,603 Services provided to children and families including counseling, school-based support, group support, Family Empowerment, and case management resources.
  • Serving 1, 393 children and families in 14 counties:  Ashtabula, Carroll, Cuyahoga, Columbiana, Holmes, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Wayne.
  • 150 Children slept safely in Pathway foster homes.
  • 540 hours were dedicated by 79 volunteers in the last year who helped plan fundraising events, sat as board members, assisted with clerical responsibilities, and made Pathway kids feel valued!
  • 5 Pathway Locations in Canton(2), North Olmsted, Sebring, and West Salem, OH.