In 2006, the Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance (OFA) awarded Healthy Marriage (HM) and Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grants to a variety of organizations offering a diverse range of programming. The funded organizations were required to work within a framework of guidelines, including target populations and allowable activities. However, as demonstration initiatives, program design was intentionally flexible to encourage creativity in approach; offering deeper insight into which organizational structures, implementation strategies and service delivery models might offer promise as effective and replicable approaches to serving families. The purpose of this paper is to examine the major organizational structures within which OFA Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs were operated and explore how these structures may have affected program implementation as perceived by the program staff. Through a series of discussions with program leaders we explored how a program's organizational structure influences the following: how and with whom community partnerships are formed, program marketing, recruitment and retention, how program evaluation is conducted, and the development of strategies for sustaining programs beyond the life of the federal funding. (Author abstract modified)
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