Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation is a large-scale, multi-component project intended to broaden our understanding of Responsible Fatherhood (RF) and Healthy Marriage (HM) programs. The major components are:

  • Implementation study of four RF and two HM programs
  • Impact study of four RF and two HM programs
  • Qualitative study of fathers in four RF programs
  • Descriptive study of RF programs serving Hispanic people
The PACT evaluation is based on a mixed-methods approach that allows us to address research questions from several angles. The implementation study is designed to document how RF programs are designed and operated and identify challenges and promising practices. The impact study is designed to measure the effects of RF programs on fathers’ engagement with their children, their employment and economic self-sufficiency, family functioning, and co-parenting and romantic relationships. The qualitative study features three rounds of in-depth, in-person interviews, conducted annually to shed more light on the lives of RF program participants. The goal is to identify effective ways to support fathers, including many participants who are ex-offenders, to help build healthy relationships with their children and partners.