Pathways-to-Outcomes Snapshots: Tools for Building Evidence for Responsible Fatherhood (RF) Programs

Pathways-to-Outcomes Snapshots: Tools for Building Evidence for Responsible Fatherhood (RF) Programs

OPRE Brief #2020-115
Published: Oct 30, 2020
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

Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Time frame: 2011–2020

Prepared for:

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

These snapshots are intended for practitioners and researchers involved in designing, improving, or evaluating RF programs. They present four RF Pathways-to-Outcomes models that visually represent hypothesized links between program activities and intended outcomes. Each model reflects one of four outcome domains targeted by RF programs and measured in the PACT evaluation: (1) healthy relationships between co-parents, (2) father development and well-being, (3) consistent employment, and (4) parenting skills and father involvement.

Accompanying each model is a recommendation table that provides research questions that could be addressed in future evaluations to build the evidence base. These questions are informed by the program activities included in the pathways-to-outcomes models. That is, answering these questions will be important for determining how best to implement the program activities and whether they can be considered effective or evidence-based. The models and recommendations intend to advance the field of RF programming and suggest future directions for research.

The Mathematica team developed the models using information from the PACT federal evaluation, discussions with RF practitioners and researchers, and a targeted literature review. To develop the recommendations table accompanying each model, we transformed key activities from the models into a condensed list of specific strategies for grantees to consider adopting. For each strategy, we developed multiple targeted research questions that could be addressed in future evaluations.

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