Pathway’s History 1973-2023

  • January 13th, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

In celebration of Pathway’s 50th anniversary, we look back to 1973…

  • The average cost of a gallon of gas was 40 cents.
  • The first handheld cellular phone call was made.
  • Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby.
  • Free Bird, by Lynyrd Skynyrd, was at the top of the music charts.
  • American Graffiti was playing on the big screen.

Pathway Caring for Children was incorporated in January of 1973 and has experienced much growth and success since that beginning thanks to support from YOU- our community.

1973– The first Pathway Caring for Children Group Home for teen boys opened in November.

Founders Jim and Velma Bridges were joined by original board members Dick Sankey, Jane Fawcett, Victor Helling, Bill Dykes, Howard Fauss, and Bill Clark.

1979– Foster Home network began to provide homes for children to live through their problems with people who were trained and cared about them.

1986– With the help of local foundations, the Harvard Avenue Group Home opened as a residence for adolescent boys.

1992– Pathway upgraded its foster home network to Treatment Foster Care. This program is designed for children and teens with emotional and behavioral problems.

1994Pathway Support Services was organized to provide extra assistance to foster parents caring for children with emotional and behavioral problems.

1997The agency’s name was officially changed to Pathway Caring for Children.

1998– Pathway created Post Adoptive Family Support Services to provide help to adoptive families caring for children with special needs.

2002– Pathway approved to participate in the placement of children for adoption.

2003– The first Family Home, opened on 25th Street NE in Canton.

2008Mental Health services expand to include mental health counseling for adoptive, foster, and community children and families.

2009– Founder Jim Bridges passed away.

2011- School-based counseling began in local school districts. Also in 2011, Pathway moved the main office to 4895 Dressler Rd. NW in Canton. (our current administrative office)

2011– Pathway Staff organized the first T.R.U.S.T (Teens Realizing and Understanding Selves Together) Adventure Therapy Camp to give Pathway teens a fun summer camp experience while providing therapeutic support.

2013– Pathway dedicated the former family home on 25th Street NE in Canton as the Jim Bridges Learning Center (JBLC) to serve youth ages 12-20 with Transitional Age Services.

2015 Family Empowerment, a special program to teach the Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model that trains adoptive and kinship parents to provide effective support and treatment for at-risk children is implemented.

2017– Pathway acquired OFYs foster care program, growing our foster care and mental health services in Cuyahoga County.

2018- Pathway became a “Bridges” program provider using a housing and case management service model for young adults who left the custody of an Ohio Public Children Service Association (PCSA) at 18 years old, and remain eligible until age 21.

2020- Like everyone in the world, the Covid pandemic impacted all that we do. As an essential service provider, we continued to work from home and in the office, as needed. We pivoted to providing telehealth services, used Zoom and Teams to conduct group meetings, and did whatever needed to be done to continue to provide services to those in need.

2021– The Cuyahoga County office location was relocated from Brook Park to North Olmsted.

2022– Pathway began prevention services to include Early Childhood Mental Health.

2023- “Here’s to 50 MORE!”

A lot sure has changed in 50 years. With all that has been done, there is still more to do…You’ve brought us this far. Will you launch us into the next 50 and say YES to a brighter, hope-filled future to meet the everyday needs of our children, families, and community?