About Pathway

Pathway’s History 

Jim and Velma Bridges

2023 is all about “Here’s to 50 MORE!” 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 1,000 Northeast Ohio Children and Families realize the possibilities of their lives.

Donate NoW »

Pathway Today ​​

  • 1,000+ mental health clients, including community and school-based in Beacon Academy, Brown Local, Fairless Local,  Heritage Christian, Osnaburg Local, and West Branch Local Schools.
  • Serving children and families in 14 counties:  Ashtabula, Carroll, Cuyahoga, Columbiana, Holmes, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Wayne.
  • Over 812 hours of support services to families who have adopted or are providing kinship care through support groups, respite, education, and consultation.
  • 100 Volunteers provided 809 hours of support in the last year.
  • 4 Pathway Locations in Canton(2), North Olmsted, and Sebring, OH.