Supporting Healthy Marriages among Fathers with Histories of Incarceration

Brief

Supporting Healthy Marriages among Fathers with Histories of Incarceration

Activities and Lessons from Six Responsible Fatherhood Programs

Abstract

After incarceration, fathers must overcome several reentry barriers, including reconnecting with their spouse, partner, or coparent. To help fathers reunify with and support their families, six Office of Family Assistance-funded Fatherhood Reentry programs implemented a range of healthy marriage activities aimed to strengthen fathers’ relationships with their partners or coparents, encourage effective coparenting, and prevent domestic violence. This implementation evaluation documented the array of healthy marriage services offered to participating fathers, such as relationship classes, family activity days, coached telephone calls, special events, assistance navigating child support issues, and domestic violence screenings and programming. Drawing on the six programs’ implementation experiences, this brief recommends that providers consider partner/coparent interaction activities as a targeted and meaningful component of any family-focused reentry program and that providers work with partners on family reunification when they are ready.

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