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Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programs for low-income participants are funded by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Trained facilitators deliver curricula, typically in weekly interactive classes, using lectures and in-class practice with partners or small groups. According to the current literature, HMRE programs may improve participants’...

This brief describes how low-income fathers participating in Responsible Fatherhood (RF) programs perceive and provide financial support for their children. It combines quantitative and qualitative information collected on fathers as part of the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation, a multi-component evaluation of RF programs for low-income fathers funded by grants awarded by Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The report presents four “Pathways-to-Outcomes” models for Responsible Fatherhood (RF) programs, each focusing on one outcome domain measured in the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation: (1) healthy relationships between co-parents, (2) father development and well-being, (3) consistent employment; and (4) parenting skills and father involvement.

ACF directed Mathematica to create this set of RF Pathways-to-Outcomes models to depict how RF program activities may contribute to...

Financial support from fathers can lead to important improvements in child well-being. Financial support from noncustodial fathers, often provided through formal child support payments, can make up a substantial part of the income of single-parent families and lead to reductions in child poverty (ACF 2016; Sorensen 2010; Meyer et al. 2008; Takayesu 2011). Child well-being can be improved when child support programs enable and enforce fathers’ financial support for children...

Children who are supported emotionally and financially by their fathers tend to fare better than those without such support. Despite wanting to be strong parents, providers, and partners, many fathers struggle to fulfill these roles. Recognizing both the importance of fathers and the challenges that they face, Congress has authorized and funded grants for fatherhood programs for more than a decade. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), which is in the...