Strong Staffing and Partnering Approaches in Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Programs

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Author (Individual)
Strong, D.
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Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service
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A program cannot succeed without strong implementation, but what is it that helps programs thrive? At the request of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Mathematica visited 17 healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood (HMRF) grantees in spring and early summer 2019 to learn more about implementation of their grants and to identify factors that might help or hinder successful implementation. We talked to leaders and staff members from grantee and partner organizations, who were generous in discussing their experiences, successes, and challenges in operating their HMRF grants and implementing services.

Mathematica researchers found that many successfully implemented programs shared common features, particularly in their approaches to staffing.

For staffing, these include:

  • Include direct services staff in team meetings
  • Use data to support staff decision making.
  • Provide adequate resources for staff.
  • Open lines of communication between leadership and staff, and work to resolve challenges.
  • Minimize staff turnover.

For partnering, these include:

  • Leverage existing relationships.
  • Maintain linkages with partners.
  • Pay attention to key partnerships.

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