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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: Baumgartner, Scott; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools. Each STREAMS site functions as a separate study within the larger evaluation, with each addressing a distinct research question.

    This process study report presents findings on the development and implementation of MotherWise, an HMRE program designed to serve low-income pregnant women and new mothers in Denver, Colorado. MotherWise includes three primary components: (1) a six-session relationship skills workshop that uses the Within My Reach curriculum and program-developed information on infant care and parenting; (2) individual case management; and (3) an...

    The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools. Each STREAMS site functions as a separate study within the larger evaluation, with each addressing a distinct research question.

    This process study report presents findings on the development and implementation of MotherWise, an HMRE program designed to serve low-income pregnant women and new mothers in Denver, Colorado. MotherWise includes three primary components: (1) a six-session relationship skills workshop that uses the Within My Reach curriculum and program-developed information on infant care and parenting; (2) individual case management; and (3) an optional couples workshop.

    The STREAMS impact evaluation is evaluating the effectiveness of MotherWise. Key outcomes of interest include participants’ communication and conflict management skills, the quality of the co-parenting relationship with the baby’s father, the number of romantic and sexual partners, incidents of intimate partner violence, unplanned pregnancies, child development outcomes, and mental health and well-being. (Excerpt from introduction)

  • Individual Author: Dion, Robin; Holcomb, Pamela; Zaveri, Heather; D'Angelo, Angela Valdovinos; Clary, Elizabeth; Friend, Daniel; Baumgartner, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social...

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social, emotional and behavioral adjustment in children.

    To address these issues, Congress has funded the Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grant program since 2006. The grant program is administered by the Office of Family Assistance at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. RF grants require programs to offer services for fathers in three areas: parenting and fatherhood, economic stability, and healthy marriage and relationships.

    The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation is studying four RF programs using a rigorous multi-component research design. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at ACF, PACT focuses on three broad areas: fathers’ backgrounds, views, and experiences (qualitative study component), how the programs were implemented (implementation study component), and the programs’ effects on fathers’ outcomes (impact study component). Recognizing that RF programming will continue to grow and evolve, PACT is providing a building block in the evidence base to guide ongoing and future program design and evaluation efforts. (Author abstract) 

  • 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: Stanley, Nicky ; Humphreys, Cathy
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    'Whole family' interventions for families living with domestic violence and abuse (DVA) are emerging and some international practice examples are available. This study reports a process evaluation of a pilot delivered in Northern England that aimed to work with all members of families experiencing DVA. The evaluation involved analysis of detailed accounts of practice from learning logs and case workbooks as well as interviews with practitioners and family members. The voluntary nature of families' involvement with the pilot, together with an explicit service philosophy of 'meeting families where they are at' appeared successful in engaging families. Pilot staff worked flexibly, seeing family members together and separately, but there was evidence of lower levels of confidence in work with perpetrators. Co-work enabled skills to be transferred to other professionals and social workers increased their use of risk assessment tools in DVA cases. However, there was uncertainty as to whether interagency communication improved across local agencies, and joint protocols and tools were...

    'Whole family' interventions for families living with domestic violence and abuse (DVA) are emerging and some international practice examples are available. This study reports a process evaluation of a pilot delivered in Northern England that aimed to work with all members of families experiencing DVA. The evaluation involved analysis of detailed accounts of practice from learning logs and case workbooks as well as interviews with practitioners and family members. The voluntary nature of families' involvement with the pilot, together with an explicit service philosophy of 'meeting families where they are at' appeared successful in engaging families. Pilot staff worked flexibly, seeing family members together and separately, but there was evidence of lower levels of confidence in work with perpetrators. Co-work enabled skills to be transferred to other professionals and social workers increased their use of risk assessment tools in DVA cases. However, there was uncertainty as to whether interagency communication improved across local agencies, and joint protocols and tools were slow to develop. This study is one of the first evaluations of 'whole family' interventions in DVA, and it illustrates how, when additional resources and organisational support are made available, a non-blaming approach that families find engaging can be developed. (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)

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