Implementation of Two Versions of Relationship Smarts Plus in Georgia

Implementation of Two Versions of Relationship Smarts Plus in Georgia

OPRE Report #2018-121
Published: Dec 21, 2018
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Associated Project

Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) Evaluation

Time frame: 2015-2022

Prepared for:

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

Key Findings

Findings from this process study will provide context and help interpret impact evaluation findings. Key highlights include:

  • MTCI developed strong systems for hiring, training, and supervising facilitators that emphasized fidelity. Systems included a facilitator hiring process that included a rigorous, multi-day preservice training program on RS+ and facilitation skills, organization-wide emphasis on curriculum adherence, frequent classroom observations, and regular facilitation practice and curriculum review.
  • MTCI worked closely with the curriculum distributor to develop the 8-lesson summary version of RS+ and develop an implementation plan. The 8-lesson version excluded four lessons on communication and conflict and sexual decision-making. The curriculum developer created special materials and workbooks for the shortened version and led two staff trainings.
  • MTCI facilitators implemented RS+ with fidelity, maintaining intended differences between the full and summary versions and the control group. Facilitators delivered the intended number of class sessions and total hours of instruction for both versions of RS+. In slightly more than 90 percent of class sessions, facilitators reported using all of the intended curriculum materials and following all of instructional guidance in the manual.
This process study report presents findings on the implementation of the Relationship Smarts Plus 3.0 (RS+) curriculum in two high schools in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. More than Conquerors, Inc. (MTCI), a nonprofit social service provider with a long history of delivering HMRE programming with funding from OFA, led the implementation. RS+ is a widely-used relationship education curriculum for youth from 13 to 18 years old. The full curriculum includes 12 lessons designed to help youth better understand themselves, plan for the future, learn the characteristics of healthy relationships, and develop skills to form and maintain healthy relationships. MTCI is implementing two versions of the curriculum: the full 12-lesson curriculum and an 8-lesson summary version.

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