Family Relationships

Children benefit from healthy family relationships. MDRC designs and studies programs that seek to improve parenting skills and capabilities, build healthier couple relationships and marriages, and promote responsible fatherhood.

The Latest
Brief

In child support programs, parents must often make complicated decisions with little information in a highly emotional context. The BIAS project, which applied behavioral insights to human services programs, worked with three states to design eight tests focusing on child support order modifications and collection of payments.

Report

Low-income fathers often face substantial barriers to maintaining stable employment and relationships with their children. This design report describes the B3 study, a rigorous evaluation of new program approaches to support low-income fathers in working toward economic stability and improved relationships with their children.

Key Documents
Report

Final Impacts from the Supporting Healthy Marriage Evaluation

Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) was a yearlong voluntary marriage education program to help strengthen couples’ relationships. SHM had small sustained positive effects on marital quality more than a year after the program ended but did not achieve its objectives of leading more couples to stay together or improving children’s well-being.

Brief

Past and ongoing research offers direction for how to strengthen the most basic foundation for early childhood development: family relationships. Part of our “Looking Forward” series, this policy memo makes the case for building on this accumulating evidence to create new and innovative approaches to support children’s earliest years and the unique role of fathers.

Report

Third Annual Report

MIHOPE-Strong Start is the largest random assignment study to date examining the effects of home visiting services on birth and health outcomes and health care use. This report describes a partial sample of 1,200 families, explores the priorities and practices of the study programs, and discusses program recruitment.