Empowering Families: Implementation of an Integrated HMRE, Employment, and Financial Literacy Program for Low-Income Couples

OPRE Report Number 2020-61
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 30, 2020
Angela Valdovinos D’Angelo and Katie Bodenlos

Key Findings:

  • Family Wellness workshops were well-attended and provided useful information for couples’ lives and a safe space for learning.
  • Couples engaged in employment services at intended levels, but did not did not take up other individual services as much as expected.
  • Participation in all Empowering Families services was particularly high for Spanish-speaking couples.
  • Implementing Empowering Families was complex, requiring three agencies to partner to integrate relationship skills and economic stability services.

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 Parenting Center’s experiences designing and implementing Empowering Families, a program developed to offer integrated HMRE and economic stability services to couples raising children together. Empowering Families offered couples four core program components: (1) a series of eight group workshop sessions using the Family Wellness curriculum along with economic stability content, (2) employment services and referrals to training, (3) financial coaching, and (4) case management.

The STREAMS impact evaluation is evaluating the effectiveness of Empowering Families. STREAMS is testing whether Empowering Families’ program of integrated HMRE and intensive economic stability services will lead to effects on participants’ employment and earnings, as well as other outcomes such as relationship quality and co-parenting.


Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) Evaluation


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

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Angela Valdovinos D'Angelo
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