A Personal Note from San Bernardino Fatherhood, Ryan Berryman 


When I began my social worker profession in 1995, I was excited over the opportunity to work in an agency with its mission to “protect endangered children, preserve and strengthen their families.”  However, I quickly realized my aspiration to effectively assist these fragile and vulnerable families was often an enormous and challenging task with seemingly conflicting demands and expectation coming from multiple directions.  Over the years, I gradually became more aware and sensitive to a common variable within these families, which was the “absentee” or “unmotivated” fathers willing to seek custody of their children.  I later discovered this “epidemic” to be prevalent not only in the child welfare system, but throughout society, as well as nationally.  My objective was to understand this “epidemic”, and more importantly, its effects, barriers and how to overcome it, in hopes of strengthening the infrastructure of families. 

In 2008, I was fortunate to come across a training workshop offered by Strategies, titled “Supporting Father Involvement”.  The workshop was offered in San Diego, California.  After attending their three training phases, the two most important facets of information I acquired were (1) the evidence-based research showing that when fathers are positively involved, children benefit emotionally, socially and academically; and (2) the importance of implementing and sustaining a “father-friendly” environment in (both) public and private sectors that will encourage and support father involvement.   

My sharing of this valuable information began to initiate an interest and discussion with my peers in child welfare, as well as with some County Department leaders.  As a result, permission was granted by the Department for a small group of social workers and community partners to organize a free “Father’s Breakfast” for fathers served by this agency.  Personally, I saw this as a kind gesture and potential steps toward “reconciliation” in how fathers are perceived, served and supported in this child welfare agency. 


​After acquiring more information and knowledge from various trainings, workshops and resources, I became increasingly haunted from the stories of fathers who had relevant issues and complaints; ranging from wanting to visit their children, being homeless, unemployed and not having anyone to really help them.  I also found it concerning that many of these fathers rarely could recall having a positive experience with their fathers.  A familiar statement made by these men was: “I want to be a better father to my child than my father was to me”.  I have never saw a reason to denied the genuineness of these men’s statements.  Although, what I have questioned is whether there are appropriate resources, services and connections available in our communities to support and sustain these fathers’ vision of being positively involved in their children lives. 

There are scores of evidence-based studies indicating a direct causation for many of the social ills in our communities to be due to absentee or uninvolved fathers.  Recognizing this urgent need for change, I founded San Bernardino Fatherhood to assist and support fathers and to advocate the importance of responsible fatherhood in our communities.  


​San Bernardino Fatherhood objective is to be the voice in our communities stating, “Fathers are Essential!”  This endeavor will be accomplished through educating, collaborating, promoting, advocating and mentoring men to becoming responsible fathers.  As a result of this endeavor, San Bernardino Fatherhood hopes to accomplish its vision statement: “A society where children thrive, families are strong and communities are safe as a result of responsible fathering.” 

Thank you for visiting our website and taking time to learn about our organization. We kindly invite your participation, involvement and support.

Sincerely,











Ryan Berryman, MSW 

San Bernardino Fatherhood is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3), grass root, community organization.