The Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide $150 million per year in discretionary grants, contracts, research and evaluation, and other activities to strengthen families, promote responsible parenting, and improve family economic stability. The programs were originally authorized in 2005, and continues its authorization under 42 U.S.C. §603(a)(2).
These programs play a key role in helping the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) achieve its goals to foster economically secure households and communities for the well-being and long-term success of children and families. The HMRF programs are specifically designed to help interested adults and youth build stronger relationships, marriages, father-child engagement, and families. On September 30, 2020, OFA announced 113 grant awards to various organizations in 30 states to provide activities to promote healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood promotion activities. The grants were awarded under three Funding Opportunities Announcements (FOAs):
- Family, Relationship, and Marriage Education Works (FRAMEWorks) – Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education promotion activities for adults;
- Fatherhood Family-focused, Interconnected, Resilient, and Essential (Fatherhood FIRE) – Responsible Fatherhood promotion activities for adult fathers; and
- Relationships, Education, Advancement, and Development for Youth for Life (READY4Life) – Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education promotion activities for youth, including parenting youth.
These grants are part of HHS’ community-based efforts to promote strong, healthy family formation and maintenance, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability.