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July/August 2008Vol. 9, No. 6Strengthening Marriages and Families Affected by Incarceration

Thirteen programs around the country were funded in 2006 under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage, and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Re-entering Fathers and Their Partners (MFS-IP) grant program. State, local, and Tribal agencies and private community and faith-based organizations are using the funds to develop services that promote healthy relationships for couples with children, where one parent is (or recently was) incarcerated.

A new report presents the first results of a 7-year evaluation of the MFS-IP grantees that began in October 2006. Focusing on the evaluation design, this study describes all 13 projects along a variety of dimensions and describes the evaluation framework that will be used in upcoming reports. This framework will assess the inputs (e.g., funding, partnerships),"throughputs" (e.g., services), outputs (e.g., systems change), and outcomes (e.g., child well-being, family violence) of the project.

The brief was prepared by Christine Lindquist and Anupa Bir of RTI International, under contract to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), and is available on the ASPE website: (339 - KB)