Four Tips to Recruit Spanish-Speaking Immigrant Men into Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs

Four Tips to Recruit Spanish-Speaking Immigrant Men into Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs

SIMR Practice Brief, OPRE Report #2023-070
Published: Mar 31, 2023
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Associated Project

Strengthening the Implementation of Marriage and Relationship Programs

Time frame: 2019-2022

Prepared for:

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

Clients
OPRE Logo
Authors

Annie Buonaspina

Adilia McManus

Key Findings

This brief shares four tips to support grant recipients interested in recruiting Spanish-speaking immigrant men:

  1. Form referral partnerships with trusted community organizations: Programs should identify organizations that understand the diversity among Hispanic communities and are trusted by Spanish-speaking immigrant men. Such organizations might have bicultural staff that demonstrate relevant linguistic and cultural competency, male facilitators that lead groups and provide services that are culturally relevant to the needs and values of Spanish-speaking immigrant men and their families, as well as other features that resonate with the community.
  2. Craft messages and strategies that resonate with Spanish-speaking immigrant men. Programs can strengthen their messaging to Spanish-speaking immigrant men by increasing their understanding of these men and their motivations to participate. This can be accomplished by (1) creating a profile of the men a program wishes to recruit; (2) engaging with Spanish-speaking men to understand how HMRE programming aligns with their lives; (3) considering the imagery used with messages and whether they reflect the population being recruited; and (4) delivering messages in a way that demonstrates cultural values.
  3. Consider hiring a male recruiter. A potential best practice for recruiting men into programming is to have male staff in various roles, such as recruiters, facilitators, and case managers. Having male staff who also share cultural backgrounds and come from the communities served by HMRE programs can also support the recruitment of Spanish-speaking immigrant men.
  4. Leverage and formalize word-of-mouth outreach through program ambassadors. Engaging current participants and graduates to support recruitment can draw on existing trust and credibility. One promising recruitment strategy is word-of-mouth, through which program participants or graduates share information about the program with their family, friends, and acquaintances. Word-of-mouth recruitment might be particularly effective in Spanish-speaking communities, including among men, as prior research on Spanish-speaking families has demonstrated cultural preferences for more personalized approaches over business-like approaches, such as advertising.

The tips in this brief are drawn from work conducted with Family Service Agency-Santa Barbara (FSA-SB), in the Strengthening the Implementation of Marriage and Relationship Programs (SIMR) study. FSA-SB is an HMRE grant recipient funded by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) based in Santa Barbara, California. The organization participated in rapid cycle learning to strengthening its recruitment of Spanish-speaking immigrant men. The SIMR project has two related goals: (1) to improve the service delivery of grant recipients in the study and (2) to develop lessons from the broader HMRE field about promising practices for addressing common implementation challenges, including challenges related to recruitment, retention, and content engagement.

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