Structuring Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Workshops for Strong Attendance: Workshop Characteristics Associated with Client Participation
Fatherhood, Relationships, and Marriage – Illuminating the Next Generation of Research (FRAMING Research)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
- For HM workshops with couples, having sessions that lasted more than four hours or met daily predicted greater attendance.
- For HM workshops with individuals, attendance was best when workshops were 10 to 19 hours in total, held for at least two-hour sessions, offered more than once a week, or provided by partner organizations.
- For RF workshops for community individuals, attendance was higher if clients were engaged in sessions that lasted at least two hours or met multiple times a week.
This paper examined the association between healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood (HMRF) client attendance and workshop characteristics across 48 HMRF programs awarded grants in 2015 by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). For HMRF services to have their intended effect, clients must have substantial exposure to them. But low attendance is a common challenge. Workshop characteristics—such as whether sessions are held during the week or on weekends, during the day or in the evenings— could potentially boost or reduce client attendance. For practitioners who must decide when and how to offer a workshop, learning from the experiences of other programs can be helpful. The analysis included grantees with workshop series that served any of three populations:
- HM adult couples: Adults who enrolled in an HM program with their romantic partner.
- HM adult individuals: Adults who enrolled in an HM program without a partner, regardless of whether they were in a romantic relationship.
- RF community individuals: Adults who enrolled in an RF program offered in the community.
It did not include the three other populations that grantees could serve: HM youth (ages 13 to 13), RF community couples (adults who enrolled in an RF program with another individual), and RF reentering individuals (adults who were incarcerated and within three to nine months of release or were recently released).