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Healthy Marriage and Relationship Programs: Promising Practices in Serving Low-Income and Culturally Diverse Populations.

Publication Year: 
2009
Personal Author: 
McGroder, Sharon.
Cenizal, Robyn.
Corporate Author: 
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center.
Technical Report
Page Count: 
108
Journal Title: 
Promising Practices Guide

This federally funded guide shares what is known about promising practices in healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) programs, especially those serving low-income and culturally diverse populations. It is intended to be helpful to a variety of audiences, including those who are interested in starting a new program, those already involved in running a program, and those who are evaluating or funding such programs. An introduction provides background information on the healthy marriage movement, challenges common to providing HMR services, and funding of HMR services. Chapter 2 provides promising practices for planning a program, developing a service delivery strategy, selecting and adapting a curriculum, and choosing a program delivery format. Chapter 3 reviews promising practices for program staffing, hiring facilitators, facilitator training and oversight, hiring and managing evaluators, financial and budgetary issues, and performance monitoring systems. The following chapter includes promising practices relating to marketing and recruitment; registration, screening, and enrollment; delivery of HMR classes; participant retention, follow-up, and tracking; performance monitoring and quality assurance; and sustainability. The final chapter highlights important themes that should be considered when applying promising practices to a program's design, infrastructure, and implementation. Lessons include: partnerships are critical, regardless of the form they take; faith and community leaders can serve as ambassadors for the program; an organization's leadership and staff must commit; successful HMR programs invest time and resources in developing a workable infrastructure; HMR programs must recognize client needs; marketing a program is important, but do not rely on advertising for recruitment; and sustainable programs develop and use a performance monitoring system to improve. 18 references.

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