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Voices of Young Fathers: The Partners for Fragile Families Demonstration Projects

Publication Date

Prepared for: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

Office of Human Services Policy (HSP)

Contract Number 100-01-0027

Prepared By: Alford Young, Jr. University of Michigan and Pamela A. Holcomb The Urban Institute


This report was produced under the direction of Jennifer Burnszynski and Linda Mellgren, Project Officers, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Human Services Policy, Melissa Pardue, Deputy Assistant Secretary.

Executive Summary (in PDF format - 5 pages)


The evaluation of the Partners of Fragile Families (PFF) project was conducted by the Urban Institute under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Many individuals assisted in conducting the study and producing this report. Dr. Alford Young Jr., Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Michigan, conducted all of the fieldwork for this study, compiled and analyzed the intensive interviews with the study participants, and produced the initial drafts that include the extensive quotes and findings presented in this report.

We gratefully acknowledge the oversight and guidance provided by our project officer, Jennifer Burnszynski and to David Arnaudo of the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) at DHHS for his ongoing commitment to the study. We are also highly indebted to Linda Mellgren of ASPE, who reviewed the report and offered valuable insights and comments on how to strengthen its content. Demetra Nightingale and John Trutko reviewed earlier drafts and provided useful guidance. The report benefited greatly from the editing skills of Fiona Blackshaw. We also extend our appreciation to the PFF staff for their assistance in identifying and recruiting the study participants. Finally, we sincerely thank the eight fathers who participated in this study for their time and willingness to share their personal experiences and views on fatherhood and the PFF demonstration.