Healthy Marriage

Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Demonstration GrantsBride and groom's hands on top of each other, showing wedding rings.

A strong family has many important implications for the health and well-being of both adults and children. Studies have shown that people live longer, have less stress, and are more financially stable in a healthy family environment where both parents are present, share the responsibility of the household, and raise the children (What Do “I Do”s Do?, Acs and Nelson, Urban Institute, 2004). In these households, children are healthier, both mentally and physically, and are better able to have their fundamental needs met. ACF’s HMRE grants are intended to help families achieve these outcomes, while also helping individuals to improve their relationship skills and increase the trajectory toward economic stability and mobility.

ACF funded 47 organizations across the country, and in one territory, to provide comprehensive healthy relationship and marriage education services, as well as job and career advancement activities to promote economic stability and overall improved family well-being.

The HMRE grantees can provide a range of activities including:

  • Public advertising campaigns on the value of healthy marriages.
  • Education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting.
  • Marriage and relationship skills programs that may include parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement.
  • Premarital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and for couples or individuals who are interested in marriage.
  • Marriage mentoring programs that use married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities.
  • Divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills.
  • Programs to reduce the disincentives to marriage in means-tested aid programs, if offered in conjunction with any activity described above.

National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families

The Resource Center ( supports state and local safety net service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed to promote self-sufficiency.

Last Reviewed: November 10, 2016