Design, Sites, and Data Sources
The Families Forward Demonstration (FFD) takes place in two stages:
Design: MDRC worked with participating child support agencies to develop the program and to identify partner providers for service delivery. The core of FFD is occupational training that builds the skills of low-income parents to help them qualify for higher-wage jobs in high demand in their area. To design the programs and the evaluation, MDRC worked with child support agencies to develop knowledge about their local labor markets, the training providers in their areas, and their target populations. State and local child support agencies in Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Washington are participating in FFD.
Evaluation: MDRC will conduct an observational study of implementation and outcomes. The implementation study will describe how the programs operated, the factors that may have influenced the implementation of services, and the experiences of participants in the program. The outcomes analysis will use a research design that will compare participants’ employment, earnings, and child support payments before and after enrolling in the study. FFD aims to enroll approximately 900 noncustodial parents across all participating agencies.
MDRC will track study participants for up to 12 months after enrollment to assess their employment, earnings, and child support payments as reported in administrative data. MDRC will also conduct site visits and interview staff members and noncustodial parent study participants to shed light on program implementation.