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Developing Strong Recruitment Practices for Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) Programs Serving Adults

July 15, 2020
Topics:
Strengthening Families, Healthy Marriage & Responsible Fatherhood
Projects:
Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS), 2015-2022 | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
This is the cover page for the Developing Strong Recruitment Practices for Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) Programs Serving Adults publication
Download report (pdf)
  • File Size 192kb
  • Pages 9
  • Published 2020

Introduction

Although research shows adult participants in HMRE programs enjoy participating and find them worthwhile, programs often face challenges recruiting participants and reaching enrollment targets. Programs conducting evaluations that require random assignment and data collection can face additional challenges (for example, increasing recruitment to account for random assignment of some applicants to a comparison group). Recruitment challenges are not unique to HMRE programs. Other psychosocial and health interventions have faced similar issues, particularly when the interventions involve rigorous research.

Purpose

The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a five-site, random assignment evaluation of HMRE programs funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA), with evaluation sites selected from the round of HMRE grantees funded in 2015. Based on findings from prior research and the experiences of the STREAMS evaluation sites, this brief describes five steps for building recruitment capacity in HMRE programs serving adults. These steps are applicable to a variety of HMRE programs serving adults to help design and implement recruitment strategies. Future reports from the STREAMS impact and process studies will describe how well these strategies worked in practice, yielding information that can be used to further refine the strategies to improve the delivery and effectiveness of HMRE programming.

Key Findings and Highlights

HMRE programs might improve their recruitment practices through the following steps:

  1. Define your target population
  2. Form the recruitment team
  3. Decide on a mix of recruitment strategies
  4. Develop and maintain recruitment partnerships
  5. Track progress and celebrate success

Methods

The STREAMS technical assistance team has worked closely with OFA grantees participating in the evaluation to help them recruit sufficient numbers of program applicants and enroll them in the study, drawing on findings from prior federal evaluations of HMRE programs. In particular, the team examined implementation study findings on participant recruitment from the Building Strong Families, Supporting Healthy Marriage, and Parents and Children Together projects. This brief is based on these findings and the experiences of OFA grantees participating in the STREAMS evaluation.

Citation

Daniel Friend and Diane Paulsell. “Research to Practice Brief: Developing Strong Recruitment Practices for Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) Programs Serving Adults. OPRE report #2020-78. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020.

Glossary

HMRE
Healthy marriage and relationship education
Last Reviewed: July 23, 2020