Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Newsletter - December 14, 2020
December 14, 2020
The STREAMS evaluation releases three new implementation reports
The STREAMS evaluation releases three new implementation reports
The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation includes a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) grantee programs funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). STREAMS recently released new implementation reports on three HMRE grantee programs. Read more about the findings from these reports below.
This process study report presents findings on The Parenting Center’s design and implementation of Empowering Families, a program in Fort Worth, TX that offers integrated HMRE and economic stability services to couples raising children together. The program consists of four core components: (1) a series of eight group workshop sessions using the Family Wellness curriculum along with economic stability content, (2) employment services and referrals to training, (3) financial coaching, and (4) case management.
The process study examines preparations for program implementation; procedures for hiring, training, and supervising program facilitators, case managers, and recruiters; the extent to which the curriculum was implemented with fidelity; and participants’ engagement in and responsiveness to the program.
This process study report highlights findings on the development and implementation of Career STREAMS. Career STREAMS is an integrated HMRE and employment program designed to serve young adults in St. Louis, Missouri.
Career STREAMS includes three primary components: (1) a two-week full-time workshop that integrates the Within My Reach curriculum with content from a Department of Labor funded job and career advancement (JCA) program; (2) individualized case management and job development; and (3) a series of five weekly booster sessions after the end of the two-week workshop.
This process study examines preparations for program implementation (including the process for integrating the HMRE curriculum and JCA program); procedures for hiring, training, and supervising frontline staff; the extent to which Within My Reach was implemented with fidelity; and participants’ engagement with and responsiveness to the program.
This process study report presents findings on the implementation of the University of Florida’s (UF) ELEVATE program in six counties across the state. UF delivered ELEVATE through its Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) county-based Cooperative Extension Service (Extension). ELEVATE is a popular curriculum for adult couples of all ages who may or may not be married. The curriculum has two primary goals: (1) to teach couples practical strategies and tools to maintain a healthy relationship and (2) to develop mindfulness practices that help couples regulate their physiological responses to conflict and stress.
This process study examines the context for implementing ELEVATE; procedures for supporting ELEVATE implementation through Extension; UF’s processes for recruiting and enrolling couples; and couples’ participation and engagement in the program. Because the related STREAMS impact study is testing the effects of a text messaging intervention on couples’ attendance, this implementation report documents the strategies UF used to recruit couples and encourage their attendance and participation.
New briefs highlight ways that HMRF programs could better serve unmarried couples with children and improve fathers' parenting engagement
The FRAMING Research project supports activities relevant to an ongoing learning agenda for ACF’s healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood (HMRF) programming by systematically identifying gaps in the knowledge base for HMRF and connected topics and areas.
Two new project briefs explore existing research on programs for specific populations with goals of improving outcomes for unmarried couples with children through healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs and supporting fathers’ parenting engagement through responsible fatherhood (RF) programs.
Improving HMRE Programs for Unmarried Couples with ChildrenVisit disclaimer pageconsiders how HMRE programs could better serve unmarried couples with children. The brief examines how characteristics such as fragile committed relationships and economic disadvantages could limit program effectiveness for unmarried parents who participate in HMRE programs. The brief also includes suggested adaptations and enhancements to HMRE programs that are informed by the specific needs of this population and the appropriate goals of HMRE programming designed for them.
The overarching objective of the RIViR study was to examine and compare how intimate partner violence (IPV) and teen dating violence (TDV) assessment tools work for identifying adult and youth HMRE program participants who are experiencing IPV or TDV so that they can be referred for further services. The study examined both the accuracy of the tools in assessing IPV and TDV and the acceptability and feasibility of administering them in HMRE programs, including the conditions needed for their successful use, participant and staff perceptions of the tools, and strategies for overcoming implementation challenges.
Also check out two infographics that summarize the findings from these two reports and present key recommendations for HMRE practitioners to consider:
Explore potential links between HMRF program activities and outcomes in two new reports from the Parents and Children Together Evaluation (PACT)
OPRE published two Pathways-to Outcomes reports to explore how and why healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) program for couples and responsible fatherhood (RF) programs may achieve different outcomes, and to examine the potential links between program activities and outcomes. The reports draw on findings from PACT evaluation of HMRE and RF programs receiving federal grants.
TheHMRE ReportVisit disclaimer page presents three models that each reflect a different aspect of program design and implementation: (1) curriculum and delivery, (2) maximizing participation, and (3) addressing couple and individual characteristics.
TheRF ReportVisit disclaimer page presents four models, with each focusing on an outcome domain measured in the PACT evaluation: (1) healthy relationships between co-parents, (2) father development and well-being, (3) consistent employment, and (4) parenting skills and father involvement.
Read the reports to understand possible connection between specific program activities and outcomes, as well as what specific program activities may be associated with observed outcomes.
New PACT findings describe how fathers in RF programs perceive and provide financial support for their children
A new reportVisit disclaimer page from the Parents and Children Together (PACT) Evaluation, describes how low-income fathers interested in RF programs perceive and provide financial support for their children. The study aimed to understand the amount and type of support fathers in RF programs provide to their children, the impacts of the PACT RF programs on outcomes relevant to fathers’ financial support for their children, and long-term impacts of the PACT RF programs on fathers’ earnings and employment.
The study found that fathers provide financial support for their children in many ways, including formal child support payments and noncash support. Fathers described a complex set of factors related to decisions about how they support their children, including access to children, child well-being, co-parenting relationship with the mothers of their children, compliance with child support responsibilities, and ability to provide support given their income. The PACT RF programs had several favorable impacts for fathers with a child support order, but did not increase the amount of support provided.
The purpose of this newsletter is to connect with stakeholders, researchers, curriculum developers, practitioners, and service providers to share knowledge about Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) research and evaluation.
This newsletter adds to the sources of information that exist on HMRF programs, services, curricula, and practices by specifically focusing on research and evaluation conducted by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in conjunction with the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), both within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
Administration for Children and Families
330 C Street SW
Washington, DC 20201
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