Strategies to strengthen families can include those that encourage fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives and that support couples’ relationships. To provide information to those interested in supporting and operating family-strengthening programs, OPRE contracted with Mathematica (formerly Mathematica Policy Research) to conduct a systematic review of research on programs serving fathers or couples with low income. The team included researchers, experts in the field, and practitioners. The Strengthening Families Evidence Review (SFER) targeted studies with a range of designs, including those that assess program effectiveness and those that focus on program implementation only.
During the review process, the research team used criteria similar to other HHS-sponsored systematic reviews to rate each study on the strength of its design, execution, and analysis for detecting impacts of the program. The rating reflects the level of confidence that should be applied when assessing how well the study can determine whether the program itself (rather than other factors) caused the reported participant outcomes. The team used three categories to rate studies that examine participant outcomes: high, moderate, and low. Studies that do not include participant outcomes were not rated.
The point of contact is Samantha Illangasekare.