Local Evaluation Highlights from the 2015 Cohort of Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Grantees Serving Adults
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
- Although the evaluations could not definitively determine whether a strategy improved client attendance at services, they identified several promising strategies such as:
- Offering longer workshop sessions over a shorter period of time
- Emphasizing make-up sessions for any missed regular workshop sessions
- Allowing clients to attend any workshop that fit their schedule throughout their participation in the program
- Reflecting the clients’ language and culture in services
- Teaching approaches to communicating and connecting with extended family because of the family’s influence on a couple’s relationship.
- The impact evaluations found some favorable results as well as some areas in which the program goals were not achieved. Favorable effects were common though not universal for outcomes about relationships, such as conflict management skills and relationship satisfaction. For other domains, such as parenting and mental health, findings with no effects were as or more common than favorable outcomes.
Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees seek to support and strengthen families for the well-being and long-term success of children. Evaluations can help grantees improve services and better support families by examining what is working well and what is not. In the 2015 HMRE grantee cohort, funded by the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Family Assistance (OFA), 37 HMRE grantees served adults, and 13 of those grantees conducted local evaluations. In a local evaluation, a grantee works with an independent evaluator to design and execute a study to address questions of interest about grantees’ programs and clients. Even though the questions were about each grantee’s particular program, the results from the evaluations can be helpful to other organizations that serve similar populations, provide similar services, or plan to do so. This brief highlights selected results from the local evaluations of HMRE grantees serving adults.
This brief was developed as part of Building Usage, Improvement, and Learning with Data in Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (BUILD HMRF) Programs project, led by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in collaboration with OFA. ACF has contracted with Mathematica to conduct the BUILD HMRF project.