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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Avellar, Sarah A.; Clary, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of BSF programs, report on services received by the program group to which the intervention was offered, analyze characteristics of couples and programs that may affect participation, and describe the experiences of program group couples. A report on the effectiveness of BSF—its impacts on the lives of couples and their children—is expected in 2010. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Joshi, Pamela; Flaherty, Scott; Corwin, Elise; Bir, Anupa; Lerman, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships and marriages and child well-being. A component of the CHMI study involves implementation research on demonstrations approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The goals of the demonstrations are to achieve child support objectives through community engagement and service delivery activities related to healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) education programs.

    A series of reports is being produced on the implementation of the Section 1115 projects. A total of 14 programs are included in the CHMI evaluation implementation study. Earlier reports covered the implementation of demonstrations in five locations: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Jacksonville, FL; and Nampa, ID. This report focuses on the demonstrations in Minneapolis, MN;...

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships and marriages and child well-being. A component of the CHMI study involves implementation research on demonstrations approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The goals of the demonstrations are to achieve child support objectives through community engagement and service delivery activities related to healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) education programs.

    A series of reports is being produced on the implementation of the Section 1115 projects. A total of 14 programs are included in the CHMI evaluation implementation study. Earlier reports covered the implementation of demonstrations in five locations: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Jacksonville, FL; and Nampa, ID. This report focuses on the demonstrations in Minneapolis, MN; Lexington, KY; New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, GA; and Denver, CO. The report examines community engagement efforts, the design and implementation of service delivery (healthy marriage and relationship training workshops and related services), and links with child support. It does not present estimates of program impacts or effectiveness. The report is based on site visits conducted from November 2008 to June 2009, a time when the sites were in various stages of program implementation—demonstrations in Denver and Minneapolis were each in the last year of funding, whereas the other three demonstrations were in earlier stages of implementation.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Hershey, Alan M.; Zaveri, Heather H.; Avellar, Sarah A.; Strong, Debra A.; Silman, Timothy; Moore, Ravaris
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project is a large-scale program demonstration and rigorous evaluation to learn whether well-designed interventions can help interested romantically involved unmarried parents build stronger relationships and fulfill their aspirations for a healthy marriage if they choose to wed. The central question of the evaluation is whether interventions can succeed in helping these parents improve their couple relationships, enter into and sustain healthy marriages, and enhance the well-being of their children.  Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the project has been underway since late 2002 and involves programs operating in seven sites.  This report analyzes the implementation of the BSF program in these sites and presents information on their development, operations and lessons learned, and provides context for the future analysis of program impacts on couples and their children.  Specifically, the report addresses the following questions:

    What is the...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project is a large-scale program demonstration and rigorous evaluation to learn whether well-designed interventions can help interested romantically involved unmarried parents build stronger relationships and fulfill their aspirations for a healthy marriage if they choose to wed. The central question of the evaluation is whether interventions can succeed in helping these parents improve their couple relationships, enter into and sustain healthy marriages, and enhance the well-being of their children.  Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the project has been underway since late 2002 and involves programs operating in seven sites.  This report analyzes the implementation of the BSF program in these sites and presents information on their development, operations and lessons learned, and provides context for the future analysis of program impacts on couples and their children.  Specifically, the report addresses the following questions:

    What is the context in which programs are implemented?

    How are participants identified as eligible for BSF and then enrolled in the program?

    What are the characteristics of couples that choose to enroll in BSF?

    How is the BSF model put into operation at local sites?

    To what extent do enrolled couples attend and complete BSF?

    What is the experience of couples enrolled in the BSF program?

    What are the lessons learned that may be useful for other similar programs?

    (author abstract)

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