The Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood program works closely with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) to conduct federally-led impact evaluations of our programs. You can learn more about past and present evaluations, and other research on strengthening families on the OPRE site.
Local Evaluation Final Reports from 2015-2020 Cohort of Grantees
As part of the larger HMRF learning agenda, a substantial proportion of grantees in the 2015-2020 HMRF cohort conducted evaluations of their own grantee-specific research questions. These evaluations are sometimes called “local evaluations.” Some evaluations were descriptive in design, focusing on program implementation and participant outcomes; other evaluations were impact in design, studying the effectiveness of programs or portions of programs. Regardless of design, all evaluations were held to high quality standards, including in the final analyses and reporting.
Brief highlights from the Responsible Fatherhood evaluations
Valuable lessons from the final reports on local evaluations for Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grants include the following:
- Recruiting fathers to meet enrollment goals for RF programs often required substantial work; some programs had to broaden their recruitment strategies and deepen their efforts. For example, Friends Outside in Los Angeles County held large orientation events that yielded correspondingly large numbers of new participants; the grantee also learned how important referrals from satisfied participants and alumni were. Child Development Resources spent considerable time strengthening its relationships with staff in other community organizations that could refer men to the program.
- RF programs tended to have favorable impacts on co-parenting and improved participants’ financial knowledge and employment rates. A couples-based RF program, It’s My Community, reduced intimate partner violence and destructive communication and raised participants’ employment rates. An RF program for fathers with open child support cases, Rubicon Programs, improved employment rates and reduced receipt of public assistance. A program for young fathers with low incomes, Pathway, improved participants’ understanding of financial planning.
The final reports for all local evaluations of RF grants are listed here, along with links to the reports:
- Anthem Strong Families
- Child Development Resources
- Denver Indian Center, Inc.
- Fathers & Families Support Center
- Friends Outside in Los Angeles, Inc.
- Healthy Relationships California
- It’s My Community Initiative, Inc.
- Milwaukee County Child Support Services
- Mountain Comprehensive Care
- Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition
- Pathway Inc.
- Rubicon Programs
- The Osbourne Association
- The Retreat Inc.
- Vista Community Clinic
Brief highlights from the Healthy Marriage evaluations
Valuable lessons from the final reports on local evaluations for Healthy Marriage (HM) grants include the following:
- Several HM programs for adults adapted to meet the special needs of participants. The Korean Community Center’s program for couples who immigrated from Korea, China, or Vietnam delivered the curriculum in participants’ primary language and wove cultural understanding into the workshop sessions. The WestCare Pacific Islands program noted that participants’ responsibilities to their jobs and extended families precluded regular weekly attendance at workshops, so the program gave participants the option of attending any scheduled workshop each week. The Phoenix Houses of New York program originally offered eight weekly workshops to participants receiving treatment for substance use disorders. But the grantee changed the schedule to two sessions over four weeks so participants could complete the program within their 28-day stay in the residential facility.
- HM programs for adult couples and individuals improved relationship skills, conflict management skills, and relationship satisfaction. Auburn University’s HM program for committed couples improved couples’ relationship skills, reduced conflict, and improved their satisfaction with the relationship. U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants’ HM program for individuals and couples who were refugees and immigrants improved relationship skills and conflict management skills. The University of Miami’s online HM programs, some with and some without coaching, improved couples’ satisfaction with their relationships.
- HMRE youth programs worked with at-risk youth in their teens or early 20s. The Bethany Christian Services’ program offered relationship education and employment services to at-risk youth in their teens or early 20s. Children’s Harbor focused on youth ages 18 to 23 involved in the foster care system. The Texas State University evaluation focused on youth in high school who were pregnant, parenting, or had a partner who was pregnant. The Texas State University evaluation found a reduction in co-parenting conflict, but no impacts on relationship outcomes; other impact evaluations did not find effects for programs related to relationship outcomes. OFA has funded a new cohort of youth-specific HM grants (called READY4Life Visit disclaimer page , or Relationships, Education, Advancement, and Development for Youth for Life) with specific parameters designed to strengthen HM programming targeting youth.
The final reports for all local evaluations of HM grants are listed here, along with links to the reports:
- Auburn University
- Bethany Christian Services
- Center for Relationship Education
- Children’s Aid Society in Clearfield County
- Children’s Harbor
- Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington
- Montefiore Medical Center
- Phoenix Houses of New York
- Public Strategies
- Texas State University
- University of Central Florida (Descriptive)
- University of Central Florida (Impact)
- University of Miami
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
- WestCare Pacific Islands, Inc.