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The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative: The Promise and Challenge of Using Volunteers to Provide Community-Based Marriage Education.

Publication Year: 
2008
Personal Author: 
Dion, M. Robin.
Avellar, Sarah.
Corporate Author: 
United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
Briefing Materials
Page Count: 
10

The goal of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI) is to make information about the skills needed to build and sustain healthy marriages broadly available throughout the state. To pursue the mission of changing the culture of marriage and divorce, OMI leaders decided to engage the support of grass-roots volunteers in communities across the state. By the end of 2007, over 120,000 individuals had participated in OMI marriage education workshops. Overall, workshops and large-scale events offered through the community sector account for about a quarter of the OMI's productivity, including six percent of OMI workshop participants who were served by the faith sector. While other briefs in this series focus on implementation of the OMI in public agencies, this brief focuses on one smaller piece of the overall initiative: how the OMI has recruited and mobilized a volunteer workforce -- in the broader public and in the faith community -- to provide marriage education services in local communities. It also highlights the role of large, regional one-day community events in introducing and stimulating interest in OMI workshops. (Author abstract)

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