June 2000Vol. 1, No. 4HHS Electronic Management Tool Kit for Fatherhood Projects Now Available
HHS has developed a new, innovative tool to help fatherhood programs manage and assess their programs. This free software, which can be downloaded as a self-executing Microsoft Access 97 file, can detail the progress of individual fathers or report on aggregate data on all program participants. Known as the Responsible Fatherhood Management Information System (RFMIS), it can be used as a paper and pencil tracking system or as an electronic database.
The software can help start-up projects assess their performance in delivering services to fathers and their families. "Often overlooked, effective management tools are critical to evaluating program performance," said Olivia A. Golden, HHS assistant secretary for children and families. "Without timely data, we cannot answer critical questions about how well a project has done in helping people and in reaching its goals." The system can be used by any project, including ones not funded by HHS. It can also be tailored to a project's own needs.
Data forms, included with the program, are used to collect information on participant characteristics. The automated data system calculates services received, outcomes, and costs. Developers designed the software based on telephone and in-person interviews with HHS Responsible Fatherhood Project staff in 8 States and project evaluators. Two conferences, another management information system, and existing tracking documents provided further input.
The RFMIS manual and software can be obtained through the HHS Fatherhood Initiative Web page at: http://fatherhood.hhs.gov/guidebook99/intro.htm.
For technical assistance on using the RFMIS, please contact:
John Trutko, Consultant to The Lewin Group
Capital Research Corporation
1910 N. Stafford Street
Arlington, VA 22207
The Lewin Group
3130 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 800
Falls Church, VA 22042
For a related article about new HHS child support waiver demonstration projects for responsible fatherhood, see "HHS Promotes Responsible Fatherhood" in the May issue of the of the Children's Bureau Express.