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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Wood, Robert G.; Goesling, Brian; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The federal government has had a long-standing commitment to supporting healthy relationships and stable families. In the mid-1990s, Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which had the formation and maintenance of two-parent families as one of its core purposes. TANF provided states with the funding and flexibility to support activities to promote healthy marriage. Beginning in the mid-2000s, the federal government began providing additional funding specifically to support healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) services. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees these funds and distributes them through a set of competitive multi-year grants to organizations nationwide. OFA made the most recent round of HMRE grant awards in September 2015. These grants support HMRE services for a mix of populations, including youth in high school, individual adults, and adult couples. (Author abstract) 

    The federal government has had a long-standing commitment to supporting healthy relationships and stable families. In the mid-1990s, Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which had the formation and maintenance of two-parent families as one of its core purposes. TANF provided states with the funding and flexibility to support activities to promote healthy marriage. Beginning in the mid-2000s, the federal government began providing additional funding specifically to support healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) services. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees these funds and distributes them through a set of competitive multi-year grants to organizations nationwide. OFA made the most recent round of HMRE grant awards in September 2015. These grants support HMRE services for a mix of populations, including youth in high school, individual adults, and adult couples. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Friend, Daniel; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    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.

    Purpose

    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...

    Introduction

    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.

    Purpose

    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

    Methods

    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)

  • Individual Author: Moore, Quinn; Avellar, Sarah; Patnaik, Ankita ; Covington, Reginald; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years. To expand our understanding of what works in healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT Healthy Marriage (HM) impact study included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two HMRE programs funded and overseen by OFA....

    Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years. To expand our understanding of what works in healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT Healthy Marriage (HM) impact study included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two HMRE programs funded and overseen by OFA. This report discusses the impacts of these programs about one year after study enrollment on (1) the status and quality of the couples’ relationships, (2) the co-parenting relationships, and (3) job and career advancement.

    From among all HMRE programs that received OFA funding through grants issued in 2011, the study team selected two for the PACT HM study: (1) Supporting Healthy Relationships, at University Behavioral Associates in the Bronx, New York; and (2) the Healthy Opportunities for Marriage Enrichment Program, at the El Paso Center for Children in El Paso, Texas. As a requirement of their grants, the two programs offered services to support and strengthen couples’ relationships. The relationship skills workshops at both programs covered similar topics, such as understanding partner’s perspectives, developing strategies to avoid fighting, and communicating effectively. In response to the funding announcement, the two programs integrated job and career advancement services into their programs. Both programs offered two-hour stand-alone job and career advancement workshops and one-on-one meetings with employment specialists. Supporting Healthy Relationships also integrated four hours of content related to economic and financial well-being into the relationship skills workshops. Participation rates were high for the HM programs in PACT, although attendance at the relationship skills workshops was much higher than for job and career advancement services.

    Couples in the PACT HM study were in relatively stable and committed relationships when they enrolled in the study. Of the 1,595 study couples, 59% reported being married when they enrolled and about half of the study couples had been together for at least five years. About three-quarters of the couples were Hispanic. Most couples were in their 30s and had relatively low levels of education and earnings. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Horn, Wade; Sullivan, Halbert; Wetzler, Scott; McDonald, Robin; Avellar, Sarah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Established in 2005, ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide services to promote strong, healthy family formation and marriage, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability. This plenary session presented impact findings from Parents and Children Together, a multi-year, rigorous evaluation of a subset of HMRF programs. Robin McDonald (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the panel and former ACF Assistant Secretary Wade Horn (Deloitte Consulting) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (author introduction)

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Established in 2005, ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide services to promote strong, healthy family formation and marriage, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability. This plenary session presented impact findings from Parents and Children Together, a multi-year, rigorous evaluation of a subset of HMRF programs. Robin McDonald (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the panel and former ACF Assistant Secretary Wade Horn (Deloitte Consulting) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Rue, Lisa; Chamberlain, Seth; Covington, Reginald; Goesling, Brian; Zief, Susan
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    This panel highlighted three studies funded through the Personal Responsibility Education Program multi-component evaluation and the Federal Evaluation of Selected Programs for Expectant and Parenting Youth. These evaluations document how teen pregnancy prevention initiatives and programs for expectant and parenting teens are implemented in the field and assess selected programs’ effectiveness. Seth Chamberlain (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the session and Lisa Rue (University of Northern Colorado) served as the discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    This panel highlighted three studies funded through the Personal Responsibility Education Program multi-component evaluation and the Federal Evaluation of Selected Programs for Expectant and Parenting Youth. These evaluations document how teen pregnancy prevention initiatives and programs for expectant and parenting teens are implemented in the field and assess selected programs’ effectiveness. Seth Chamberlain (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the session and Lisa Rue (University of Northern Colorado) served as the discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

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