We provide you with all the tools, training, and support you need as you prepare to open your heart and your home for a child.

To become a Pathway foster or foster-to-adopt parent, you must meet all the general requirements listed below. We currently serve 14 Northeast Ohio counties. 

  • At least 21 years old

  • U.S. Citizen

  • Single, married, divorced, or widowed

  • A family with or without children

  • A renter or a homeowner

  • Able to pass a criminal background check

  • Able to provide financially for your family’s present needs

  • Able to physically, mentally, and emotionally care for a child

  • Complete Pre-Service Training and Continuing Training upon licensure

Pathway pre-service training is a 43-hour program that consists of 15 classroom sessions. You will be required to attend additional hours of training if you are not qualified to be a Specialized Treatment Parent. The classes are led by a team of trainers, one of whom is an experienced foster parent. This training was developed so that foster parent candidates may begin to understand how foster children have been affected by their troubled backgrounds.

Class participants learn the importance of working as a team with social workers, schools and counselors, for the benefit of the child. The behavior management skills that are taught help foster parents form realistic expectations and help them to deal with the child’s behavior more effectively.

online training for foster parents
Being a good foster parent requires:
  • TIME
Beyond that, these are some of the qualities that Pathway Case Managers feel make a GREAT foster parent:


  • Having reasonable expectations and meeting a child where they are at.

  • The ability to create an enriching lifestyle for the children in the home.

  • Being a good team player by consulting with case managers when issues arise.

  • Offering some normalization for a child by integrating them into the foster family and also allowing them experiences outside of the foster home when appropriate

  • Supporting biological family relationships and engaging when appropriate.

  • Self-motivating.

  • Successfully handling transitions and helping children do the same.

Pathway staff offer 24/7 support to foster families

Pathway offers dual licensure, which means that when you are licensed as a foster caregiver, you are approved for adoption as well. You can foster-to-adopt, which means you accept a child as a foster placement with the plan of adopting the child at a later time.

Pathway also offers ongoing post-adoption support services, which help both families and adopted children to understand the special problems and issues specific to adoption. These services are available to all families and are designed to give the kind of support needed to help the family maintain its commitment to be a “forever” family.

Pathway Caring for Children

Canton/Administrative Office 

4895 Dressler Rd NW Suite A

Canton, OH 44718

Phone: 330.493.0083

Cleveland Office

25300 Lorain Rd Suite 330

North Olmsted, OH 44070

Phone: 440.586.8202

Get Monthly Updates

Toll Free: 1.800.838.7284



Pathway is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Pathway is funded in part by United Way of Greater Stark County, and is a Stark Mental Health Addiction Recovery provider Pathway is also a member of the Ohio Children’s Alliance.

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