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  • Individual Author: Moore, Quinn ; Avellar, Sarah; Covington, Reginald; Wu, April; Patnaik, Ankita
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Research shows that parents and children tend to fare better on a range of outcomes when they live in low-conflict, two-parent families. Recognizing the potential benefits of healthy relationships for low-income families, Congress has funded three rounds of grants for Healthy Marriage (HM) programs since 2006. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awards and oversees the grants, which aim to promote the well-being and long-term success of children and families by fostering parents’ relationship stability and economic well-being. To learn more about the effectiveness of HM programs, OFA funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the multicomponent Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. This evaluation included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two federally funded HM programs serving low-income couples that received grants in 2011. This brief presents the impacts of...

    Research shows that parents and children tend to fare better on a range of outcomes when they live in low-conflict, two-parent families. Recognizing the potential benefits of healthy relationships for low-income families, Congress has funded three rounds of grants for Healthy Marriage (HM) programs since 2006. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awards and oversees the grants, which aim to promote the well-being and long-term success of children and families by fostering parents’ relationship stability and economic well-being. To learn more about the effectiveness of HM programs, OFA funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the multicomponent Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. This evaluation included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two federally funded HM programs serving low-income couples that received grants in 2011. This brief presents 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
    3. job and career advancement

    (Excerpt from introduction) 

  • 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: Avellar, Sarah; Moore, Quinn; Patnaik, Ankita; Covington, Reginald ; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)

    Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zaveri, Heather; Baumgartner, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The family environment in which children are raised can affect their later decisions in every area of life, from education and employment to marriage and childbearing (McLanahan and Sandefur 1994; Wolfinger 2003; Wolfinger et al. 2003; Wu and Martinson 1993). Research confirms that growing up with two parents in a stable, low conflict, healthy marriage can lead to favorable outcomes for children (Amato 2001; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994). Creating that environment is particularly difficult for low-income couples, however, because financial difficulties may put them at high risk for conflict and, ultimately, relationship dissolution (Bramlett and Mosher 2002; Conger et al. 2010). The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently sponsoring several evaluation efforts that will expand understanding of what works in programming that promotes healthy relationships and marriage. One effort, the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation, is examining a set of...

    The family environment in which children are raised can affect their later decisions in every area of life, from education and employment to marriage and childbearing (McLanahan and Sandefur 1994; Wolfinger 2003; Wolfinger et al. 2003; Wu and Martinson 1993). Research confirms that growing up with two parents in a stable, low conflict, healthy marriage can lead to favorable outcomes for children (Amato 2001; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994). Creating that environment is particularly difficult for low-income couples, however, because financial difficulties may put them at high risk for conflict and, ultimately, relationship dissolution (Bramlett and Mosher 2002; Conger et al. 2010). The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently sponsoring several evaluation efforts that will expand understanding of what works in programming that promotes healthy relationships and marriage. One effort, the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation, is examining a set of Healthy Marriage (HM) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA).1 Recognizing that grantees’ programs are still growing and developing, PACT is intended to provide a building block in the evidence base to guide ongoing and future program design and evaluation. PACT approaches research questions from several angles to tell a holistic story about the programs and participants, including impact (using a rigorous random assignment design) and process components. Ultimately, PACT’s results will provide information about who enrolls in voluntary services, the design and operation of these programs, and how the programs affect the families who enroll. This report presents findings from the process study of the two HM grantees participating in the PACT evaluation, including a description of grantees’ service delivery approaches and findings on enrollment and program participation. The remainder of this chapter describes the research and policy context for HM programs, discusses PACT’s evaluation framework, and introduces the two HM programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zaveri, Heather; Dion, Robin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    This brief provides a general overview of the two Healthy Marriage (HM) grantees involved in the Parents and Children Together Evaluation (PACT), provides participation rates in services, and documents how the two grantees integrated job and career advancement services for parenting couples into their programs. This brief uses data obtained through staff interviews and program observations during site visits; ongoing interactions with program leadership; and data from a management information system that programs use to record data on couples’ receipt of services. (author abstract)

    This brief provides a general overview of the two Healthy Marriage (HM) grantees involved in the Parents and Children Together Evaluation (PACT), provides participation rates in services, and documents how the two grantees integrated job and career advancement services for parenting couples into their programs. This brief uses data obtained through staff interviews and program observations during site visits; ongoing interactions with program leadership; and data from a management information system that programs use to record data on couples’ receipt of services. (author abstract)

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