The Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration program intended to effect systems change, deliver appropriate and effective services, and improve outcomes for both parents and children in low-income families. By making lasting changes in the way public agencies and community organizations work with unmarried families, the initiative aimed to increase the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers and mothers to become financial, emotional, and nurturing resources to their children and to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The PFF demonstration, which built upon lessons from programs and demonstrations that operated over the past two decades, was implemented over a three-year period beginning in 2000 at 13 project sites in nine states. HHS contracted with the Urban Institute and its subcontractors, the Johns Hopkins University's Institute for Policy Studies and Capital Research Corporation, to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of the PFF demonstration. As part of this multicomponent evaluation, this report examines how participants fared in two areas of prime importance to the PFF demonstration: (1) employment rates and earnings levels and (2) the establishment of child support orders and the payment of child support. These outcomes are examined for a one- to two-year period. The report begins with background information on the design of the PFF programs and the characteristics of participants. It then discusses design and data sources for the outcome analyses and some limitations of this study. The fourth and fifth sections examine trends in the employment and earnings of PFF participants and the establishment of child support orders and child support payments, respectively. The final section summarizes the most critical findings. (Author abstract)
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