For many divorced fathers in Cincinnati, Ohio and across the nation, Children Services may not have the most favorable reputation. The child welfare system in the past has, unfortunately for many fathers, favored mothers when awarding child support and child custody. In fact, fathers have been regarded as sources of problems rather than beneficial influences in a child's life.

Luckily, the view of fathers as effective parent figures is changing nationwide. Research has shown that children are better off with their father's in their lives, and the way child custody and support agreements are decided are beginning to change to reflect that. While it may be a while before there is equal consideration of mothers and fathers in deciding these agreements, one Ohio Children Services agency is taking steps to turn this trend of disregard for fathers around.

In 2010, the agency began the Fatherhood Initiative, which reaches out to include fathers in more cases after noticing the ways they were being excluded from these processes. Fathers who have encountered personal issues in maintaining a father role are being assisted in learning how to be an effective parent. Since the initiative began, an increase has been seen in the number of fathers being awarded custody of kids in the county.

Ultimately, if fathers are being left out of the process of deciding child custody and support, change may be needed. The best interest of a child often involves an equal presence of both parents in his or her life. As a result, it both of these parent figures ought to be treated equally in making these custody decisions.

Source: Ohio.com, "Summit County Children Services shifts focus onto fathers," Rick Armon, June 16, 2012