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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, Robin; Holcomb, Pamela; Zaveri, Heather; D'Angelo, Angela Valdovinos; Clary, Elizabeth; Friend, Daniel; Baumgartner, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social...

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social, emotional and behavioral adjustment in children.

    To address these issues, Congress has funded the Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grant program since 2006. The grant program is administered by the Office of Family Assistance at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. RF grants require programs to offer services for fathers in three areas: parenting and fatherhood, economic stability, and healthy marriage and relationships.

    The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation is studying four RF programs using a rigorous multi-component research design. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at ACF, PACT focuses on three broad areas: fathers’ backgrounds, views, and experiences (qualitative study component), how the programs were implemented (implementation study component), and the programs’ effects on fathers’ outcomes (impact study component). Recognizing that RF programming will continue to grow and evolve, PACT is providing a building block in the evidence base to guide ongoing and future program design and evaluation efforts. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Balu, Rekha; Lee, Shawna; Steimle, Samantha
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Building Bridges and Bonds (B3), a federally funded study of Responsible Fatherhood programs, is testing a set of innovative approaches designed to help fathers advance their parenting and employment skills. One of these innovations is a new smartphone based application called DadTime. It is one of the first mobile applications specifically designed to help fathers improve their engagement with and attendance at parenting programs. This brief, the second in a series of publications on B3, describes how MDRC collaborated with fathers to develop DadTime. The first brief, “Three Innovative Approaches to Serving Low-Income Fathers,” which was published in April 2017, introduced the B3 study and described three new practices for Responsible Fatherhood programs, including the creation of DadTime, which is described in greater detail here. (Author abstract)

     

    Building Bridges and Bonds (B3), a federally funded study of Responsible Fatherhood programs, is testing a set of innovative approaches designed to help fathers advance their parenting and employment skills. One of these innovations is a new smartphone based application called DadTime. It is one of the first mobile applications specifically designed to help fathers improve their engagement with and attendance at parenting programs. This brief, the second in a series of publications on B3, describes how MDRC collaborated with fathers to develop DadTime. The first brief, “Three Innovative Approaches to Serving Low-Income Fathers,” which was published in April 2017, introduced the B3 study and described three new practices for Responsible Fatherhood programs, including the creation of DadTime, which is described in greater detail here. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Anzelone, Caitlin; Timm, Jonathan; Kusayeva, Yana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    State child support programs secure financial support for children whose parents live apart. These programs establish paternity, set orders for the amounts parents are required to pay, and collect and distribute payments. An essential step in the process of establishing paternity and setting an order of support is delivering legal documents to the person named as a parent (frequently referred to as the “noncustodial parent”). This step of delivering documents is known as “service.” A noncustodial parent typically receives a summons that says he or she has been named as the parent of a particular child, provides notice that a legal proceeding has been initiated, and sets a hearing date. The summons is usually delivered by certified mail or by a law enforcement officer. In many states, noncustodial parents can waive being served by accepting the legal documents in the child support office voluntarily, but few do. A person who comes into the child support office to accept service voluntarily is actively engaging in the child support process. In doing so, the person benefits from...

    State child support programs secure financial support for children whose parents live apart. These programs establish paternity, set orders for the amounts parents are required to pay, and collect and distribute payments. An essential step in the process of establishing paternity and setting an order of support is delivering legal documents to the person named as a parent (frequently referred to as the “noncustodial parent”). This step of delivering documents is known as “service.” A noncustodial parent typically receives a summons that says he or she has been named as the parent of a particular child, provides notice that a legal proceeding has been initiated, and sets a hearing date. The summons is usually delivered by certified mail or by a law enforcement officer. In many states, noncustodial parents can waive being served by accepting the legal documents in the child support office voluntarily, but few do. A person who comes into the child support office to accept service voluntarily is actively engaging in the child support process. In doing so, the person benefits from reduced fees, a greater voice in the legal process, and a better understanding of the way an order is established. The child support program benefits from increased efficiency, reduced costs, and the ability to provide more information to parents. With these benefits in mind, the BICS team worked with the Georgia Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to test a new form of outreach intended to get more people to accept service voluntarily. The intervention encouraged people who had been named as parents to come into the office and meet with staff members to discuss the child support process and their obligations. Using insights from behavioral science, the BICS team redesigned mailed materials and changed the nature of the initial meeting between noncustodial parents and child support staff members in an attempt to simplify the process and encourage parents to act. (Excerpt from overview)

  • Individual Author: Blackwell, Wendy; Braswell, Kenneth; Doar, Robert; Klein Vogel, Lisa; Scott, Mindy
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Can researchers and practitioners reverse the trend of low labor force participation among working-age men? This panel discussion highlighted a range of policy options, implementation findings from a study on employment services for noncustodial parents, and how the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse supports practitioners to develop workforce development activities in responsible fatherhood programs. Kenneth Braswell (Fathers Incorporated) moderated the session and Wendy Blackwell (Center for Urban Families) served as the discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    Can researchers and practitioners reverse the trend of low labor force participation among working-age men? This panel discussion highlighted a range of policy options, implementation findings from a study on employment services for noncustodial parents, and how the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse supports practitioners to develop workforce development activities in responsible fatherhood programs. Kenneth Braswell (Fathers Incorporated) moderated the session and Wendy Blackwell (Center for Urban Families) served as the discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Horn, Wade; Sullivan, Halbert; Wetzler, Scott; McDonald, Robin; Avellar, Sarah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Established in 2005, ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide services to promote strong, healthy family formation and marriage, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability. This plenary session presented impact findings from Parents and Children Together, a multi-year, rigorous evaluation of a subset of HMRF programs. Robin McDonald (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the panel and former ACF Assistant Secretary Wade Horn (Deloitte Consulting) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (author introduction)

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Established in 2005, ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide services to promote strong, healthy family formation and marriage, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability. This plenary session presented impact findings from Parents and Children Together, a multi-year, rigorous evaluation of a subset of HMRF programs. Robin McDonald (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the panel and former ACF Assistant Secretary Wade Horn (Deloitte Consulting) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (author introduction)

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