Talbert House / Hamilton County

Lawrence had always done his best to be an outstanding father. Before the birth of his three children – 4-year-old Ava, 3-year-old Hanna and 1-year-old Jozie – he had a steady employment history, including work as a manager at a local pizza restaurant. The birth of his children changed him dramatically. Two of his children have disabilities. Hanna has multiple medical diagnoses, including cerebral palsy. Ava also has multiple diagnoses, including Turner syndrome. By 2012, Lawrence was his children's primary caregiver; though he did not have legal custody of them and readily admits he was ill-equipped to be a good father.

When Lawrence first came to the Talbert House’s Fatherhood Project, he had quit his job to care for his daughters full-time. The first thing case worker Jerry Pettigrew did was recommending that Lawrence consult with attorney Matt DeBartolo. At Matt’s recommendation and with Jerry’s help, Lawrence filed for full custody of his children. He was awarded temporary legal custody in January 2013. As a result, he became able to apply for all the public assistance available to other eligible single parents.

Jerry contacted the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to connect Lawrence with services for children with disabilities and their parents. Lawrence now works with numerous departments within the hospital. Hanna gets help from the neurology department, the Complex Care Center, and the Aaron W. Perlman Center, which treats children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. She also gets speech, occupational and physical therapy, attends public preschool, and receives services through the Hamilton County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services. Ava also receives services through the hospital, which donated a wheelchair-accessible van to the family.

On April 2, 2013, Lawrence graduated from the Talbert House’s Nurturing Fathers Class. In June, he was honored with the Fatherhood Project’s Father of the Year award, and in July he received the ultimate gift: full custody of his girls. He’ll tell anyone who will listen that the Fatherhood Project made him a better parent. He often adds: “I am lucky to have three wonderful daughters.”

The Commission Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 2022 from 10:00 am. – 12:00 p.m. It will be a virtual Zoom Webinar. The audience is encouraged to utilize the chat Q&A to interact with the Commissioners, guest speaker(s), and the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF) staff. 
Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81763981193?pwd=TmhYMEY1eFgxWTNEZTZIbnBPRFlsdz09
Passcode: 813187
Webinar ID: 817 6398 1193
The phone # +1 301 715 8592

Please click here to join the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 12, 2022 Commissioners’ Meeting.
If you would like to listen to the recordings or see presentations from the previous Commission Meetings, please click here

Please Note: We are unable to provide technical assistance during meetings. 

2022 Commission Meeting Dates:    Feb. 10, May 12, July 14, Sept. 8 and Nov. 10. 

If you would like to attend a commission meeting or if you have any questions, please contact Terri Simons via e-mail at Terri.Simons@jfs.ohio.gov

If you need to speak to someone over the phone, please contact Executive Director Kimberly Dent at 614-752-0583. 

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