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  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia; Knox, Virginia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Fathers provide important financial and emotional support to their children. Yet low-income noncustodial fathers, with low wages and high rates of joblessness, often do not fulfill their parenting roles. The child support system has not traditionally helped these men to do so, since its focus has been on securing financial support from fathers who can afford to pay. Meanwhile, fathers who cannot pay child support accumulate debts that can lead them to evade the system and its penalties altogether - and further limit their contact with their children.

    Parents' Fair Share (PFS) was designed as an alternative to standard enforcement. Launched in 1994 in seven sites, PFS was a national demonstration program that aimed to help low-income noncustodial fathers find more stable and better-paying jobs, pay child support on a consistent basis, and become more involved parents. Funded by the organizations listed at the front of this monograph, PFS provided employment and training services, peer support groups, voluntary mediation between parents, and...

    Fathers provide important financial and emotional support to their children. Yet low-income noncustodial fathers, with low wages and high rates of joblessness, often do not fulfill their parenting roles. The child support system has not traditionally helped these men to do so, since its focus has been on securing financial support from fathers who can afford to pay. Meanwhile, fathers who cannot pay child support accumulate debts that can lead them to evade the system and its penalties altogether - and further limit their contact with their children.

    Parents' Fair Share (PFS) was designed as an alternative to standard enforcement. Launched in 1994 in seven sites, PFS was a national demonstration program that aimed to help low-income noncustodial fathers find more stable and better-paying jobs, pay child support on a consistent basis, and become more involved parents. Funded by the organizations listed at the front of this monograph, PFS provided employment and training services, peer support groups, voluntary mediation between parents, and modified child support enforcement.

    Besides designing the PFS demonstration, MDRC evaluated it. Between 1994 and 1996, each of more than 5,500 fathers was randomly assigned to PFS or a control group, and the program's effects were estimated by comparing how the two groups fared over a two-year period. This monograph synthesizes the demonstration's key findings and uses them to formulate several recommendations for the next generation of fatherhood programs.

    Key Findings

    As a group, the fathers were very disadvantaged, although some were able to find low-wage work fairly easily. PFS increased employment and earnings for the least-employable men but not for the men who were more able to find work on their own. Most participated in job club services, but fewer than expected took part in skill-building activities.

    PFS encouraged some fathers, particularly those who were least involved initially, to take a more active parenting role. Many of the fathers visited their children regularly, although few had legal visitation agreements. There were modest increases in parental conflict over child-rearing decisions, and some mothers restricted the fathers' access to their children.

    Men referred to the PFS program paid more child support than men in the control group. The process of assessing eligibility uncovered a fair amount of employment, which disqualified some fathers from participation but which led, nonetheless, to increased child support payments. 

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Riccio, James A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    The Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus, for short) grew out of The Rockefeller Foundation's interest in sponsoring community-building initiatives that feature employment as both the central goal and the driving force for transforming poor neighborhoods. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development joined The Rockefeller Foundation in its efforts, and MDRC agreed to manage Jobs-Plus and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of its implementation, costs, and effectiveness. The first in a series of documents that detail that evaluation, this report describes the main components of the program and outlines operations at the eight housing developments (in seven cities) that were selected as sites in March 1997. It also explores key aspects of Jobs-Plus, including the formation of agency and community organization partnerships around an employment agenda and the feasibility of providing services, incentives, and supports for work at saturation levels within a community. (author abstract)

    The Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus, for short) grew out of The Rockefeller Foundation's interest in sponsoring community-building initiatives that feature employment as both the central goal and the driving force for transforming poor neighborhoods. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development joined The Rockefeller Foundation in its efforts, and MDRC agreed to manage Jobs-Plus and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of its implementation, costs, and effectiveness. The first in a series of documents that detail that evaluation, this report describes the main components of the program and outlines operations at the eight housing developments (in seven cities) that were selected as sites in March 1997. It also explores key aspects of Jobs-Plus, including the formation of agency and community organization partnerships around an employment agenda and the feasibility of providing services, incentives, and supports for work at saturation levels within a community. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative is a focused strategy to address the unique cultural, linguistic, demographic, and socioeconomic needs of a growing population of Hispanic children and families in the United States.

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), funded the Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative (HHMI) Grantee Implementation Evaluation to learn how relationship and marriage education programs serving primarily Hispanic individuals and couples are marketing services and developing culturally appropriate materials and programming for diverse Hispanic populations. This study represents an implementation evaluation, not an impact evaluation.

     *OPRE managed, funded by ASPE.

    The Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative is a focused strategy to address the unique cultural, linguistic, demographic, and socioeconomic needs of a growing population of Hispanic children and families in the United States.

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), funded the Hispanic Healthy Marriage Initiative (HHMI) Grantee Implementation Evaluation to learn how relationship and marriage education programs serving primarily Hispanic individuals and couples are marketing services and developing culturally appropriate materials and programming for diverse Hispanic populations. This study represents an implementation evaluation, not an impact evaluation.

     *OPRE managed, funded by ASPE.

  • Individual Author: Meléndez, Edwin; Falcón, Luis M.; de Montrichard, Alexandra
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Community colleges have become key institutions delivering employment training services to the population targeted by welfare-to-work grants (Carnavale and Desrochers, 1997; Meléndez and Suárez, 2001). Many community colleges have developed new programs and structures to meet a stringent set of program requirements and to provide support services for welfare recipients (Katsinas, Banachowski, Bliss, and Short, 1999). Most new programs specifically designed to serve welfare recipients have a significant component of continuing education or noncredit courses such as GED preparation and ESL to develop participants’ basic skills. These short-term vocational training programs create links between certificate and degree programs and act as mechanisms to close the gap between training and education (Bailey, 1998; Grubb, 1996). Providing the opportunity for academic and career advancement is perhaps the greatest theoretical advantage community colleges have over other employment training institutions, such as community-based job-training organizations and employer-based training.

    ...

    Community colleges have become key institutions delivering employment training services to the population targeted by welfare-to-work grants (Carnavale and Desrochers, 1997; Meléndez and Suárez, 2001). Many community colleges have developed new programs and structures to meet a stringent set of program requirements and to provide support services for welfare recipients (Katsinas, Banachowski, Bliss, and Short, 1999). Most new programs specifically designed to serve welfare recipients have a significant component of continuing education or noncredit courses such as GED preparation and ESL to develop participants’ basic skills. These short-term vocational training programs create links between certificate and degree programs and act as mechanisms to close the gap between training and education (Bailey, 1998; Grubb, 1996). Providing the opportunity for academic and career advancement is perhaps the greatest theoretical advantage community colleges have over other employment training institutions, such as community-based job-training organizations and employer-based training.

    Community college success in serving low-income and disadvantaged populations has led to proposals that two-year institutions assume a more central role in regional workforce development systems (Carnavale and Desrocher, 1997; Jenkins and Fitzgerald, 1998). In this study, we examine the ways community colleges have transformed their operations in response to the challenges inherent in educating a disadvantaged welfare recipient population with multiple academic and social needs. This chapter examines the following questions: To what extent have community colleges adapted for the welfare recipients entering their institutions? Have the changes in policy induced different responses among mainstream versus predominantly minority-serving colleges? How are curriculum, instruction, student services, and educational programs changing to meet the needs of welfare recipients and other disadvantaged students? What are the institutional factors affecting colleges’ participation in workforce development programs? Lessons from case studies and best practices in programs targeting welfare recipients presented in this chapter are particularly relevant to mainstream community colleges targeting nontraditional and minority students. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kling, Jeffery; Liebman, Jeffrey; Katz, Lawrence; Sanbonmatsu, Lisa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    We study adult economic and health outcomes in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration, a randomized housing mobility experiment in which families living in high poverty U.S. public housing projects in five cities were given vouchers to help them move to private housing units in lower-poverty neighborhoods. An “experimental” group was offered vouchers valid only in a low-poverty neighborhood; a “Section 8” group was offered traditional housing vouchers without geographic restriction; a control group was not offered vouchers. Our sample consists largely of black and Hispanic female household heads with children. Five years after random assignment, the families offered housing vouchers through MTO lived in safer neighborhoods that had significantly lower poverty rates than those of the control group not offered vouchers. We find no significant overall effects on adult employment, earnings, or public assistance receipt -- though our sample sizes are not sufficiently large to rule out moderate effects in either direction. In contrast, we do find significant mental health...

    We study adult economic and health outcomes in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration, a randomized housing mobility experiment in which families living in high poverty U.S. public housing projects in five cities were given vouchers to help them move to private housing units in lower-poverty neighborhoods. An “experimental” group was offered vouchers valid only in a low-poverty neighborhood; a “Section 8” group was offered traditional housing vouchers without geographic restriction; a control group was not offered vouchers. Our sample consists largely of black and Hispanic female household heads with children. Five years after random assignment, the families offered housing vouchers through MTO lived in safer neighborhoods that had significantly lower poverty rates than those of the control group not offered vouchers. We find no significant overall effects on adult employment, earnings, or public assistance receipt -- though our sample sizes are not sufficiently large to rule out moderate effects in either direction. In contrast, we do find significant mental health benefits of the MTO intervention for the experimental group. We also demonstrate a more general pattern for the mental health results using both voucher groups of systematically larger effect sizes for groups experiencing larger changes in neighborhood poverty rates. In our analysis of physical health outcomes, we find a significant reduction in obesity for the experimental group, but no significant effects on four other aspects of physical health (general health, asthma, physical limitations, and hypertension) or on our summary measure of physical health.

    (author abstract)

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