Here's what we found for you
- Parenting help
From education and income to physical and emotional health, learn about programs and organizations dedicated to supporting parents in Stark County as they navigate parenthood. Because a strong family foundation can help children succeed at home, in the classroom and in their relationships with others.
- Resources for parents
Nothing prepares you for parenthood. Parenting has been called the ultimate long-term investment. It’s one of the most complex and challenging jobs you’ll face in your lifetime – and also the most rewarding. Find local resources to help you navigate parenthood in Stark County.
- First-time parents
Families begin in many different ways. No matter if you are a birth parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, step-parent or single parent by choice, learning to care for a child takes time. But the good news is that you already have the basics to parent successfully: your love for your child, instincts and common sense. All first-time parents bring their own skills, values and experiences to their families, and Stark County has community resources that are available to help you along the way.
- Young parents
The transition to parenthood is difficult at any age, and especially for teens and young adults. Find local resources, programs and organizations available to support young parents in Stark County, both financially and emotionally. Benefits of social support services for first-time parents include improved parenting knowledge, enhanced parent-child relationships and increased economic self-sufficiency.
- Parenting support groups
The joy of having a baby is indescribable, yet being a first-time parent can feel overwhelming. Taking care of a new baby is so demanding, it doesn’t leave much time to focus on yourself. The support offered from parents in the same situation can help you through the difficult transition to parenthood.
- Parenting kids in school
Every student has unique needs and challenges, and a parent’s attitudes about education can be an important factor in a child’s journey through school. By modeling curiosity, confidence and a love of learning, parents can inspire a positive academic experience. Find helpful tips and resources for parenting during childhood education in Stark County.
- Teen pregnancy
If you are experiencing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. Being a pregnant teen can be overwhelming and confusing, but community resources in Stark County are available to help you along the way. Find support groups, health care providers and confidential spaces to talk about your pregnancy options.
- Pregnancy mental & emotional support
Pregnancy and parenthood is challenging at any age, and can be especially difficult for young parents. Find local mental health resources dedicated to supporting parents through a variety of functional challenges, including postpartum depression, stress management, relationship counseling and more.
- Child care assistance
Find local resources, organizations and public assistance programs dedicated to making reliable, safe and affordable child care accessible to all families in Stark County. Child care assistance helps to pay a portion of your child care costs, so you can continue to work and support your family.
- You’re Not a Bad Parent if Your Child Needs Support for their Mental HealthIf your child comes to you with an issue that may be impacting their mental health, you might feel guilty. However, they simply need your support.
- Starting the adoption process
Although the foster/adoption process in Stark County doesn’t cost a lot, it can be time-consuming and emotional. On average, it takes from four to 12 months to complete the required steps, including the application, home study and training process. These steps, though sometimes taxing, ensure the safety and best fit for the adopted child.
- Foster & adoption: early childhood
Every baby should grow up in an environment where they are loved and protected. However, sometimes young children are placed in unfortunate situations that jeopardize their safety and well-being. Whenever a parent is unable to provide adequate care, a child may be removed from their home and paired with a foster or adoptive family.
Currently, many children in Stark County are in need of fostering or adoption, especially children with functional needs and sibling groups.
- Infant mortality prevention
To help address the growing issue of infant mortality in Stark County, local agencies have come together to form the Stark County THRIVE Pathways HUB. This county-wide initiative brings together community providers, medical resources and social services to help ensure every baby in Stark County is able to celebrate their first birthday. New and expecting parents can reach out today for help improving the health and stability of their growing families.
- Pregnancy support groups
Support groups can help new and expecting mothers develop coping strategies for difficult situations, including pregnancy complications, stress management, postpartum depression and the loss of a child. By attending support groups, mothers develop and strengthen relationships among family members and their peers, improving their own well-being and that of their babies.
- Foster & adoptive parent eligibilityYou don’t need to be perfect to be a foster parent. You don’t need to own your home or have parenting experience. Foster parents can be young or older and they are from all economic and cultural backgrounds. All that’s required is a stable, mature, dependable and flexible family environment.
- Your role as a foster parentFoster parents play an essential part in helping children recover from the trauma or abuse of their pasts. They can provide a stabilizing presence and teach valuable life lessons while children are in their care. Learn what is required from foster and adoptive parents in Stark County and where to go to get started.
- Adoption services
Are you interested in learning more about adoption services in Stark County? All children have hopes of being welcomed into permanent, loving and committed families. Whether you are pregnant and exploring your options or an aspiring adoptive parent, find local resources to offer support, knowledge and assistance throughout the process.
- Your role as a parent or caregiver
Caring for children with developmental disabilities presents unique challenges, and it’s normal to have questions and concerns. Find resources, tips and guides for parents and caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. You will learn ways to advocate for your child’s rights and make sure they grow up safe and supported.
- Early childhood immunizations
It is important that children receive immunizations early in life to help protect them from potentially life-threatening illnesses and diseases. If your child is behind on their shots, don’t worry. Your pediatric or primary care physician can help determine a make-up vaccination schedule, so your child can get safely back on track.
- Father’s rights
The bond between a child and their father sets an important family foundation. Community agencies all over Stark County work every day to remove barriers and promote more positive father/child relationships. Even if a father is not the custodial parent, they still have rights when it comes to caring for their children. Find information, programs and organizations dedicated to supporting fathers legally, financially and emotionally. Because stronger relationships lead to stronger families.
- Foster & adoption: childhood
Many Stark County community members choose to expand their families through fostering and adoption. For children who need a stable home, the permanent care of adoption or the temporary safe haven of fostering can help. Even if you are not sure if fostering or adoption is the right path for you, find information to help you learn about the options available.
Most children who are eligible for adoption in Stark County are over the age of six and have experienced some level of trauma,
- Foster & adoption: youth & teens
Young children are not the only ones in need of safe and welcoming homes. Many teens in the Stark County foster system are seeking the love and support of adoptive families. Find Stark County resources to support these teens in their pursuit of family placements, or as they transition to living on their own.
- Emotional support: child custodyCustody cases can mean tough transitions for everyone involved – whether determining who the child will live with, what school district they will be enrolled in or where they will spend the holidays. With professional emotional support, you and your child can learn to cope, heal and support each other every step of the way.
- Prenatal care
For expecting mothers, preparing for a healthy birth starts long before labor and delivery. From conception until you bring your baby home, get the early and regular prenatal care you need for a happy and healthy pregnancy. There are many affordable prenatal care providers available here in Stark County.
- Child custody legal assistance
As you consider the best care for a child following a divorce, separation or another difficult family situation, it is important to have appropriate legal representation to guide you through the process. We’re here to help you get started.
- Child custody: childhood
Child custody decisions differ depending on many factors, one of which is the child’s age. Children ages 4 to 10 thrive best when their experience in school remains consistent and parental involvement is frequent and structured. Determining the best child arrangements can be confusing, especially during difficult situations such as divorce or separation. Find resources to help Stark County parents and caregivers navigate child custody cases.
- Child custody: youth & teens
The family court considers many factors when considering the best custody arrangements for youth and teens. As children get older, their school schedules become more complex and they likely have stronger opinions about their living arrangements. Most judges encourage flexibility when it comes to caring for older children, so they are best set up for success. Find help navigating teen custody cases in Stark County.
- Child custody: early childhood
As with all custody cases, the family court carefully considers what is in the best interest of the child when deciding the custody arrangements for very young children (ages 0 to 3). Whenever possible, separation between each parent and the child is minimized to promote bonding and reduce anxiety. Find legal assistance and resources to help families navigate custody cases for infants and toddlers in Stark County.
- Food & nutrition
Unfortunately, one in four children in Stark County is not sure where their next meal will come from. Find local organizations dedicated to providing access to food and nutrition for youth of all ages. Whether you are looking for a local hot meal program or need help applying for public food assistance, resources are available.
- Filing a child custody case
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce, separation or the absence of a parent is finding the right balance of care for the children involved. Find local Stark County resources available to help you file your child custody case.
- Family planning
If you are unsure about the family planning methods available to you and want to learn more about your options, you are not alone. Find local resources, programs and community organizations providing reproductive health services for individuals and couples in Stark County.
- Cash assistance
Is your family in need of financial support? Everyone faces difficult times at one point or another. Fortunately, there are many local organizations in Stark County committed to lifting up community members in times of hardship. If you need cash, food or medical assistance, reach out for help today.
- Early education resources
Early education programs provide learning opportunities for children, ages 3 to 5 years old, and are aligned with the Ohio Department of Education’s Early Learning Content Standards. These standards establish benchmarks that impact future learning. All early childhood education programming offered in Stark County is targeted to support children as they build a strong knowledge-based foundation.
- Assistance application & eligibility
Navigating life’s challenges is difficult enough. We’re here to make finding help for basic needs simple. Learn how to apply for cash, food and/or medical assistance and get started today. Cases are processed in the order they are received, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible.
- Family & youth counseling
Family therapy can be a helpful tool to reduce household conflicts and concerns by encouraging more positive family interactions. Through open and honest dialogues, this method of group counseling can help set strong foundations for healthy minds and strong families. Find family and youth counseling resources here in Stark County.
- Home schooling
Stark County parents have the right and opportunity to homeschool their children. In order to educate children at home, parents must notify their local school district and comply with Ohio homeschooling requirements. Students who meet all established requirements are excused from regular school activities and attendance.
- Basic needs information & referrals
Looking for help, but not sure where to turn? At Stark Help Central, we have a vision for the future of Stark County where every child, parent, friend and neighbor has the resources to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. Find local organizations dedicated to lifting up local families in times of need.
- Immunizations for students
Routine vaccination against harmful diseases is an important part of a child’s health care. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to prevent your child from getting sick, and vaccines play a critical role in keeping children healthy.
- A simple way to search for resourcesYOUTH LIFE STAGES
Whether you are parenting a young child, dealing with challenges that emerge in the classroom or navigating the peer pressures of adolescence, find local programs and organizations in Stark County, Ohio, to help guide the way. Choose an age group below to get started:
- Employment resourcesWhether you are a young person looking for a part-time job, a parent who is out of work or an individual with disabilities planning for independence, resources are available to help you navigate the job search.
- Migrant working: childhoodChildren who have migrated are often forced to work in unsafe, unsanitary environments and face abuses that go largely unreported. Learn more.
- Death of a guardianThe passing of a parent or caregiver is always a difficult time, but it is a particularly urgent concern for people with developmental disabilities. Not only are there the issues of grief and loss; decisions need to be made about legal guardianship, where the person with disabilities will live, how they will support themselves financially and how they will take care of their day-to-day needs.
- Speech/language pathology
Typically, speech and language impairments are identified by parents and/or teaching staff when a child reaches school age. These challenges could include stuttering, swallowing difficulties, problems with articulation and more. Every school district in Stark County offers speech and language services to eligible children starting at 3 years of age.
- Medicaid & medical insuranceAll residents should have access to safe and effective health care, regardless of age or income. If you are a teen, young adult or the parent of a young child, affordable, quality care is within your reach. Get the medical, dental, prescription or mental health coverage you need for a happy and healthy tomorrow.
- What to expect in a juvenile caseWith so many different processes and legal terms to learn, juvenile cases can seem confusing, intimidating and overwhelming. However, they don’t have to be. Resources are available in Stark County to help you prepare.
- Alcoholism & recoveryFrom partying to binge drinking, alcohol use is a very real concern for many teens in Stark County. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment programs in the area helping peers and parents to develop strategies to overcome teenage alcohol use. If you think you or someone you know may have a drinking problem, reach out today for support.
- Grief & traumaYoung people who experience the loss of a loved one can have a strong emotional response that they don’t fully understand. Parents, educators and peer supporters can help teenagers and young adults manage the pain and discover ways to cope and recover. Find local resources available to support young people in Stark County as they deal with the effects of grief and trauma.
- Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are required to receive special education services in Stark County public schools. These important documents are put together by the teaching staff, parents, school administrators and the students themselves, to prepare for success in school. Included in these plans are details about the child’s learning needs, services required from the school and ways to monitor the student’s progress.
- Evaluation Team Report
The Evaluation Team Report (school district evaluation) is essentially the beginning step in the special education process. Before a child can receive educational accommodations and related services, the child must be evaluated to identify developmental delays. Once the evaluation is complete, the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is assembled by a team including parents, teachers, therapists, behavioral specialists and school administrators.
- Child neglectWhen a parent or caregiver fails to provide the basic needs for a child to grow up happy and healthy, it can cause serious long-term effects. For healthy development, children need food, clothing, safety, shelter and emotional support, especially during the early years of their lives.
- RunawaysA young person may want to leave home for many reasons. They might be rebelling against their parents or fleeing a dangerous family setting. But unfortunately, couch surfing or living on the streets could increase the likelihood of exploitation and other dangerous situations.
- Occupational & physical therapy
Occupational and physical therapists support children with disabilities by developing fine and gross motor skills, self-help skills and sensory control. Stark County schools must provide this service when a child’s education needs demonstrate their necessity. Using direct and indirect services, as well as assistive technology and classroom modifications, therapists collaborate with parents, teachers and other intervention specialists to help children reach their full educational potential.
- Know your rightsIn Stark County, rights are in place to make sure every student has access to quality education – regardless of physical, cognitive or social barriers. It is important for parents and students to be aware of and understand these rights, so you can effectively self-advocate for the services and supports you deserve.
- Summer campsWhen school is out for the summer, finding engaging ways to keep kids busy can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many great summer camps offered throughout Northeast Ohio, where young people can socialize, learn and channel their energy in positive ways. Especially for working parents, camps can be a better, more affordable alternative to summer child care. Learn about the summer camps available near you.
- Developmental disabilities: early childhood
Caring for children with developmental disabilities presents unique challenges. For children up to age 3, Stark County Early Intervention (EI) provides services for families to help children reach their full potential. Using a team approach, developmental specialists and therapists, who are specific to the needs of the family, work with caregivers and children to coach, teach specific techniques, and provide appropriate resources to parents and caregivers. Learn more about the programs and services available for young children with developmental disabilities.
- Childhood counseling helpsA child may have trouble getting past a trauma. If your child continues to struggle with feelings of hopelessness, sadness or difficult behaviors, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional.
- Relationship issues
While there’s no single reason for teen suicide, the emotional pain associated with a breakup can be so severe that young people turn to self-harm. And these issues aren’t exclusive to romantic relationships. Problems with parents and friends can cause just as much stress and pain for a young person.
If you or someone you know is struggling to cope with a difficult relationship, find local counseling and support resources. You are not alone.
- Early childhood mental health services
It’s never too early to think about children’s mental health. For women who are pregnant or parents who have young babies at home, community resources are available in Stark County to support their children’s emotional development.
Early childhood mental health is measured by a child’s behavioral well-being, including the capacity to express themselves, form relationships and learn. A baby’s caregiving arrangements, nutrition, safety and physical characteristics all have an impact on their behavioral development.
- Holiday and Christmas gifts for families in needSome local organizations provide assistance during the holiday season to help bring joy to harder times. View our list of those who can help.
- Developmental disabilities & mental health
Young people with developmental disabilities are at a much higher risk for also experiencing mental health challenges. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for these children, teens and young adults to get the support they need. They may have trouble communicating their symptoms and behaviors are often falsely attributed to their disabilities. As a result, co-occurring conditions can cause significant strain on parents and guardians who may not know the best ways to seek treatment for their loved ones.
- Importance of Safe Places and Caring Relationships for Our LGBTQ+ Young People
In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, let us take a moment to learn more about what we can do in our personal and professional lives to create safe spaces and caring relationships for our LGBTQ youth (and adults).
Far too many LGBTQ+ youth do not feel safe and accepted or feel a sense of pride in themselves. In fact, LGBTQ+ youth experience bullying, parental rejection, depression, and thoughts of suicide at significantly higher rates then their heterosexual peers.
- Hard times: early childhood
Young children need proper nutrition and medical care in order to grow, develop and thrive. When a household is in financial crisis, it can have serious, long-term health, social and behavioral implications throughout their lives. Fortunately, families in Stark County are not alone in facing these challenges. There are local agencies dedicated to providing food, clothing, shelter and cash assistance to those who are experiencing hard times.
Even parents who are employed with steady incomes may struggle to make ends meet when they have child.
- Mental & emotional support for traumaRecovering from a traumatic event isn’t easy. Discovering and developing resiliency and coping skills may be easier with the help of a mental health professional.
- Emotional abuse recoveryAlthough emotional abuse hurts just as much as physical abuse, it does not have the same physical signs, and can be harder to identify. For young people in Stark County, abuse could be excessive demands, grueling punishments or constant criticism from parents and loved ones.
- There is No Health Without Mental HealthMental health in an important part of your overall health – it’s not just physical health. Learn more and get Stark County resources on mental health.
- How Teen Court Benefits Defendants, Participants, the Court and the CommunityTeen Court is an alternative to traditional juvenile court & prevents recidivism with youth-to-youth accountability. Learn about its impact on Stark County.
- Fighting Hunger and Homelessness During the HolidaysFor Stark County residents who struggle with hunger and homelessness, the holidays can be really difficult to get through. Learn about local resources
- Improve Family Dialogs with StarkMHAR Conversation Cards
Once your family is seated around the dinner table, the typical conversation starter is: “So, how was your day?”
And the typical answer? “Fine.”
Getting your child to say anything more can be a lot of work.
But what if you stopped thinking of the child’s attitude as the problem, and started with the question? What if there were some truly interesting questions you could ask your family? And what if they were excited to think about them and answer?
- Stories of Self-AdvocacyWatch these videos from Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities to find out how young people with disabilities are advocating for themselves.
- Reflections, 2020-2021
Do you roll your eyes when you hear the words ‘self care’? Yeah, me too, and we are hearing it now more often than ever. For 20 years much of our community’s training emphasis has been on understanding both the devastation of trauma and the healing power of Resilience. Who knew that, unknowingly, we were preparing ourselves for 2020 – when our entire world would
experience a collective and ongoing traumatic pandemic.
The stability and predictability that had structured our lives?
- The Importance of Getting an Opioid Overdose Kit
As the opioid crisis in Northeast Ohio continued to grow, the Stark County Opiate & Addiction Task Force was created in 2011 to help educate the community and provide necessary resources on opioids. In 2014, Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) was created by the Ohio Health Department to bring together educational and naloxone distribution programs during the opioid epidemic. In order to prevent opioid overdose and to further harm reduction strategies, these organizations provide free overdose kits for anyone in Ohio who wants one.
Self-help group encouraging parents to make lasting, effective, positive changes in their lives.
Canton, OH 44708
Parents and Children Together
For parents who are mentally ill and their children.
Canton, OH 44709
Woven in Grace
Group of adoptive parents in Stark County.
Canton, OH 44708
Peer support for parents in Stark County.
Massillon, OH 44646
Stark County Job & Family Services: Human Services Division
Help with child services, parenting support and basic needs referrals.
Canton, OH 44702
Aultman Emergency Department
For parents who want to safely and legally give their babies up.
Canton, OH 44710
Pregnancy Choices – Canton
Call for support group schedules as well as information about pregnancy and parenting.
Canton, OH 44709 Learn more
Pregnancy Choices – Massillon
Call for support group schedules as well as information about pregnancy and parenting.
Massillon, OH 44646
George Dunwoody Foundation
Support programs and mentorship for parents to become better informed about their child’s needs.
Domestic Violence Project: Life Skills Expansion Program
School program for sixth graders and parents designed to encourage positive, healthy choices.
Massillon, OH 44646
Providing free, confidential help and guidance to parents considering placing their child for adoption.
Canton, OH 44702
JRC Learning Center
Early child care services for children whose parents are working to further their educations.
Canton, OH 44705
Help Me Grow
Supporting first-time parents with home visiting services for children up to 3 years old.
North Canton, OH 44720
Tools for parents and educators to teach children to manage money wisely and develop good financial habits. Visit online for details.
Early Childhood Center
Nurtures young children, ages 3 to 5, as they begin to spend a few hours away from their homes, parents and familiar surroundings.
North Canton, OH 44720
A jail diversion program offering a variety of services and programs for offenders, including:
- Chemical dependency treatment
- Parenting groups
- Community service opportunities
Canton, OH 44702 Learn more
Resilience Guide – American Psychological Association
A useful guide, demonstrating how teachers can implement strengths into the classroom and how parents can teach resiliency to their children. View online to learn more.
Respite care is provided to seniors, working parents, new mothers, and individuals who require recuperative or continuing care. Their services and schedules can be customized to your needs.
Canton, OH 44718
Alliance Pregnancy Center
These confidential, cost-free services include:
- Abortion Information
- Adoption Agency Referrals
- Adoption Information
- Maternity & Infant Supplies
- Medical Referrals
- Parenting Education
- Post-Abortion Support
- Pregnancy Options Information
- Pregnancy Tests
- STD/STI Information
- Support for Men
- Ultrasound (Onsite)*
Alliance, OH 44601
Pathway Caring for Children
Helping families to build trusting and lasting relationships for a lifetime:
- Individual or group therapy
- Support groups
- Case management
Pathway provides short-term relief (hourly, daily, or overnight) in a foster home or community setting for adoptive families who have a child with special needs. They also offer special workshops and training, support groups, and connection to resources for adoptive parents.
Canton, OH 44718
Stark County Fatherhood Coalition
The mission of the Stark County Fatherhood Coalition is to encourage fathers to take an active and positive role in their child’s life, and to promote and sponsor activities designed to strengthen families.
The Coalition holds monthly meetings at the Goodwill Community Campus on the second Thursday of each month at 10am. If you would like additional information please call 330-451-8477. You can also visit us on Facebook facebook.com/starkcountyfatherhoodcoalition
Download the following documents for helpful information:
Canton, OH 44707
Ohio’s PRC Program
Ohio’s Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC) program provides work support, and other services, to help low-income parents overcome immediate barriers to employment. It is funded through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Those receiving assistance from other public assistance programs also may be eligible for PRC services. To find out what your county offers and to see if you might be eligible, contact your county department of job and family services.