Healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) practitioners are increasingly interested in integrating relationship education workshops with economic stability services. In its most recent round of federal grant funding for HMRE services, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) emphasized programs that offer both HMRE and economic stability services such as job and career advancement and financial literacy activities. Grantee staff must decide how to deliver services in each of these areas—either as separate workshops, integrated workshops, or a mix of the two.
The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a five-site, random assignment evaluation of HMRE programs funded by OFA, with evaluation sites selected from the current round of HMRE grantees. Two of the grantees participating in STREAMS operate programs that integrate HMRE and economic stability services. The STREAMS technical assistance team worked closely with both grantees to help refine and strengthen their original program designs by drawing on findings from prior research. This brief describes how the grantees are integrating HMRE and economic stability services, with the goal of increasing participants’ exposure to both types of services.
Key Findings and Highlights
To integrate HMRE and economic stability services, the two grantees:
- Used recruiting strategies to identify potential participants interested in both types of services
- Adapted curricula to integrate HMRE and economic stability topics
- Connected participants to one-on-one job and career advancement services
Integration strategies described in the brief are based on information gathered by the STREAMS technical assistance team during site visits and regular phone meetings with the grantees. 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. (Author abstract)