Our History, Mission, and Vision
The Center for Fathers and Families (CFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with a strong history of responding to the needs of fathers and their families by offering programs and services that lead to family growth, enrichment, and empowerment.
CFF was founded in 1994 when Matthew C. Crain, Ed D. and the original board of directors organized after several family and friends attended a certification seminar conducted on behalf of the National Center for Fathering. Board members felt a “local chapter” was needed to promote greater involvement of fathers in their families. (CFF has no official association with the National Center for Fathering.) The vision of the founder and the Board of Directors was to provide and promote enrichment programs and services to fathers and their families.
Early program and service activities included distributing educational materials at health fairs and family events. In addition, “building parent relationship” classes were conducted and held at local churches, community centers and hospitals in the Sacramento region. Newspaper articles that focused on fatherhood were written for local newspapers. Finally, brochures and pamphlets were produced for distribution in doctor’s offices and upon request.
In July of 1997, Matthew Crain resigned his position as Executive Director to relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Richard T. Jennings, II was officially appointed as the Executive Director by the Board of Directors the following month. He continues in that position to this day.
CFF’s 25 year history of responding to the needs of fathers and fatherless families has positioned us as a knowledgeable leader in the fields of education, family empowerment, and father involvement. Our vision is to reestablish the important institution of fatherhood while promoting the theme that “Fatherhood is Forever” by working to reverse the trend of absentee fathers. Fathers play a vital role in the lives of their children. Without the influence of a responsible, committed, and nurturing father, children are more likely to live in poverty, have poor educational outcomes, and get involved with crime. Fathers must understand the critical role they play. The Center provides resources and support to help fathers stay involved and help their children and family thrive.
We also strive to equip each member of the family with the skills, information, and resources necessary to promote a strong family life, which in turn promotes stronger, healthier communities. To see this vision to fruition, beginning in 2007, CFF expanded our services to include our Making After School Time Enriching and Rewarding (MASTERS) program. MASTERS serves 2,073 low-income children and families each and every school day by providing homework assistance, enrichment activities, recreation, and health and wellness activities and education. We knew it was extremely important to partner with school schools and other community based organizations in managing youth time between 3-6 PM.