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United States Evaluation of Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and their Partners

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 18:25

Prepared for:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning
and Evaluation (ASPE)


and

Administration for Children and Families
(ACF)


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS)

This project is available on the Internet at:

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/MFS-IP/

The Evaluation of the Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for
Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and their Partners (MFS-IP)
is part
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services
(HHS), Administration for
Children and Families
(ACF) initiative to support healthy marriage and
responsible fatherhood.  Thirteen grantees in 12 different states have
received five-year grants from the

Office of Family Assistance
of ACF to implement multiple activities to support and sustain marriages
and families of fathers during and after incarceration.  Grantees may
also provide support for reentering the family and community from prison,
parenting support including visitation during incarceration, education and
employment services during and after incarceration.

While incarceration takes a huge toll on families and children, research
suggests that supportive families and positive marital/partner relationships
are important for promoting positive adaptation for children of the incarcerated
and for preventing subsequent criminal involvement among reintegrating
prisoners.  To evaluate the overall effectiveness of the 13 MFS-IP grantees,
the Assistant Secretary for Planning and
Evaluation
(ASPE), awarded a contract to RTI to conduct an implementation
evaluation as well as a multi-site, longitudinal, impact evaluation of selected
grantees.

The specific objectives of the MFS-IP evaluation are:

  • to describe the 13 programs on a number of dimensions including program history
    and context, type of grantee organization, target population, intervention
    strategies, and program design;
  • to describe program implementation, challenges, successes, and lessons learned;

  • to determine the impact of these diverse programs on outcomes such as marital
    stability, positive family interactions, family financial well-being, and
    recidivism; and
  • to identify the mediation mechanisms (or primary pathways) through which
    these programs achieve success.

The implementation and impact evaluations will take place over a seven-year
period, and will include on-site data collection regarding program implementation
and a longitudinal survey data collection effort to study the effect of program
participation in comparison with comparable individuals not participating
in the MFS-IP programs.  This evaluation will add to research, policy,
and practice by helping to determine what types of programs work best for
those involved in the criminal justice system, what does not work, and what
effects these programs may have on fostering healthy marriages, families,
and children.

Available Publications

http://aspe.hhs.gov