National Evaluation of the Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage, and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Re-Entering Fathers and Their Partners: Program Models of MFS-IP Grantees. Conclusion

12/30/2008

MFS-IP grantees have designed and implemented 12 innovative programs serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men, their partners, and their children. This brief reflects the early stages of implementation, and programs will continue to evolve as they become fully operational. The programs were developed based on the needs of their specific populations, available existing services, and the contexts in which they were to operate. As a result, the implemented programs vary widely.

Program scope and delivery format dimensions suggest three distinct models: curriculum-based programs focused on family strengthening (three sites), curriculum-based programs with some case management or family counseling (four sites), and holistic case management-based programs (five sites). This variation in program design will enable the national evaluation to examine whether key implementation factors differ by program model. Data on service delivery, target population and enrollment, implementation challenges, and successes will be gathered on an annual basis through site visits, ongoing phone contact, and document review. These data will indicate whether programs of a certain type tend to experience similar implementation challenges that affect their ability to meet enrollment targets and will help to identify common solutions to programmatic barriers encountered during the start-up and full-implementation phases of the projects. This information will add to the knowledge base about the delivery of marriage- and family-strengthening services in correctional settings and will be of interest to agencies or organizations designing similar programs for correctional populations.

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