Family Partners Initiative

This initiative of the Cleveland Central Promise network develops partnerships and support relationships with families who have preschool-aged children.

Family Partners was developed with the recognition that each family has the ability to support and sustain one another, and many simply need the time, the knowledge and the network to grow and strengthen that ability. This is where Family Partners is especially helpful; individual families have the building blocks already, and Family Partners can offer a personalized blueprint for building a stable structure.

Family Partners utilizes a network of experts in early childhood development, family health and social connections to build relationships with families in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, affirm their strengths and areas for growth, and help them build the support systems necessary for positive, stable outcomes for children and caregivers alike.

Starting Point, Family Connections-SPARK Ohio, Ohio Guidestone and Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood collaborate using a whole-family approach to:

  • Help families with kindergarten prep
  • Assist parents in recognizing their power as children’s learning partners
  • Strengthen overall family relationships

How does it work?

Through this collaborative initiative, Family Partners works to strengthen the protective factors in each participating family by integrating the SPARK home visiting model, mental health coaching, access to family supports and resources and group activities and connections.

Protective Factors:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Social and emotional competence of children
  • Concrete support in times of need

Strengthening the protective factors in each family will lead to positive outcomes, including: school readiness, increased family literacy, powerful learning partnerships among parents and children, strong mental health foundations, appropriate physical and emotional health in children and an overall stronger family relationship.

Learn more about the Protective Factors on the Promise YouTube Channel


SPARK-Ohio at Family Connections is the initial access point for families; the home-visiting program serves up to 30 families at a time in the Central neighborhood. Using an asset- or strengths-based approach, the parent partner can help illuminate for a caregiver what is working well within the family, and where caregivers can find the tools they need to strengthen other areas. SPARK will then slowly begin to make purposeful introductions to connect families with community resources in education (Starting Point), mental health (OhioGuidestone) and other social support networks (Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood). With each of these partner organizations comes a network of additional potential connections for experts to share with families, always with family’s agreement and leadership.

The initiative is supported through the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation.


DOWNLOAD the Family Partners summary flier (PDF)

To learn more about Family Partners, contact:

Richaun N. Bunton, Promise Neighborhood Managing Director

  • 216.357.4470

Keesha Tolliver Funches, SPARK-Ohio Parent Partner

  • 216.921.2023