unique approach to service delivery is founded on a series of
self-sufficiency metrics, grouped together under the banner of Family
Stability and Economic Success (FSES). These metrics are a reflection of
one basic finding, observed for more than a decade of working with
Baltimore’s most vulnerable citizens: to help families attain and
sustain self-sufficiency, we must take a holistic approach.
While most of our clients walk through our doors because they are
eager to get back to work, we understand that finding a job is just the
tip of the iceberg.
The basic building blocks of a family’s economic stability are more
than simply “having a job”. Housing, reliable childcare,
transportation, sobriety, not to mention the job’s pay rate, work
together to help families emerge from poverty and become
self-sufficient. Like a house of cards, the disturbance of just one
building block can bring the stability of the entire family tumbling to
An organization like CFUF, in taking on the lofty goal of helping
Baltimore’s most disengaged citizens, must intimately understand each
factor in a person’s life, and be prepared to help in all areas, not
just one. We’ve learned that a referral is not good enough. We must take
responsibility for the whole, rather than a piece of the whole, if we
want to see results. Clients must walk out of our doors with more than
job skills; they must be prepared to succeed in all aspects of their
Our core initiatives
Economic Success (ES)
CFUF’s ES portfolio equips members with the skills, knowledge, and tools needed to achieve success in the workplace. Services include:
• STRIVE Baltimore pre-employment trainings
• Job placements and re-placements; job retention and advancement assistance
• Career mapping support and job coaching
• Occupational skills trainings and education.
Family Stability (FS)
Members receive the skills, knowledge and tools to establish and/or maintain family stability through these core interventions:
• Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Project (BRFP)
BRFP is a three-month cohort modeled project designed to deliver services to low- income fathers in the areas of child support, parenting, healthy relationships and employment readiness.
• Couples Advancing Together (CAT)
CAT is a 12 sessions, 6-week program, aiming to help couples move towards stable relationships and family-friendly employment that improves their economic circumstances and provides support for lasting family units.
Supportive Services (SS)
CFUF’s SS arm stabilizes current members and program alumni by connecting them to critical resources that prepare them for entry into core programming and help sustain their long-term progress towards greater self-reliance and fulfillment.
National Services (Practitioners Leadership Institute)
CFUF’s Practitioners Leadership Institute (PLI) is a nationally-focused initiative designed to provide practitioners in the fields of Responsible Fatherhood (RF), Family Strengthening (FS), Workforce Development (WFD), and/or Boys and Men of Color (BMOC) with experiences, skills, and information to enhance and sustain their work in these fields. PLI’s four service programs include: the Academy, a Community of Practice (COP), Education and Training, and the PLI Summit.
CFUF uses data and qualitative feedback to inform key decision makers, legislators, and other influential civic leaders on the impact of larger policy decisions on low-income workers, families and communities. CFUF’s advocacy initiatives include:
• CFUF’s CAT Peer-Learning Stakeholder Committee: (CAT/PLSC) is an advisory group comprised by representatives from CFUF and DHR local departments who will advance policies and procedures for successfully referring participants to CAT and promoting services that address families holistically.
• Commission for Child Custody Decision Making, MD: CFUF’s Responsible Fatherhood Program Manager serves as part of a commission that examines all aspects of child custody decision making processes with regards to biases towards non-custodial fathers.
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