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Excerpt from Summary of Report Background: In September 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance (OFA) awarded demonstration grants to 226 organizations focused on providing services in the areas of healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. The Responsible Fatherhood program was designed to help fathers overcome barriers that impede them from becoming effective and nurturing parents—while helping them improve their relationships with their children. At the time the grants were introduced, fatherhood programs of this kind were relatively new and unstructured, so evaluation of fatherhood initiatives was also in its infancy. Resources and exemplars to guide in the planning and evaluation of these projects were rare or non-existent.
Through its provision of programmatic oversight and technical assistance, OFA and its contractors have been in a position to observe the unfolding of these projects, as well as the challenges the grantees faced in planning, implementing and evaluating their fatherhood programming thus far. This report was developed in direct response to the emerging evaluation needs unique to the OFA’s Responsible Fatherhood programming and its goals. The purpose is to help fill the need for resources and models to aid in the planning and evaluation of the Responsible Fatherhood projects.