Building Strong Families, 2002-2012
The Building Strong Families (BSF) project is a demonstration evaluation assessing the effectiveness of family strengthening and couples relationship education interventions targeting low-income unwed parents at or near the birth of their child. Key goals of the intervention are providing skills and knowledge to unwed parents on entering into and sustaining healthy relationships and marriages, improving family functioning, and increasing child and family well-being. Evaluators worked with state and local officials to implement the BSF model in eight sites. The evaluation includes process/implementation analyses and interim and longer-term impact analyses based on the random assignment of couples to program and control groups.
The major research questions addressed in this study include: (1) What are the issues and challenges in designing, implementing and operating programs to increase permanence and healthy marriages and thereby improve child well-being and family functioning among low-income unwed parents? (2) What are the characteristics of couples targeted by programs? (3) What are the net impacts on the attitudes and expectations of low-income parents regarding marriage and couple relationships? (4) What are the net impacts on rate of marriage and relationship stability and on quality of relationships among parents? (5) What are the net impacts on measures of child well-being (e.g., cognitive, social, emotional, health) and parental well-being (e.g., emotional, health, economic)? (6) Do program impacts vary by site? (7) Do program effects vary for couples/families with different characteristics? The evaluation is being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
The points of contact are Nancye Campbell and Seth Chamberlain.