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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families: Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Grants

Deadline: July 7, 2015

Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Grants (HMRE) will support programs that provide a broad array of services designed to support healthy marriage and relationships. In order to achieve the required outcomes, applicants are strongly encouraged to provide comprehensive services, including services designed to improve marriage and relationship skills, as well as activities to promote economic stability and mobility. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with human services agencies and community organizations to integrate services to address the social, emotional, and economic stability needs of individuals and couples. Social and emotional needs services include partnerships with and referrals to mental health, substance abuse treatment, and trauma-informed care systems. Economic stability activities include job and career advancement, and financial literacy activities, such as budgeting, financial planning and management, and asset development.

There are eight components to healthy marriage and relationship activities that applicants may propose:

  • Public Advertising Campaigns – Public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health.
  •  Education in High Schools – Education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting.
  • Marriage and Relationship Education/Skills (MRES) – Marriage education, marriage skills, and relationship skills programs that may include parenting skills, financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement.
  • Pre-Marital Education – Pre-marital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and for couples or individuals interested in marriage.
  • Marriage Enhancement – Marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples.
  • Divorce Reduction – Divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills.
  • Marriage Mentoring – Marriage mentoring programs which use married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities.
  • Reduction of Disincentives to Marriage – Programs to reduce the disincentives to marriage in means-tested aid programs.

In recent years, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has emphasized the importance of activities related to economic stability and job and career advancement for healthy HMRE programs, since economic pressures and instability often contribute to relationship and marital dysfunction. ACF will continue this emphasis in this program. ACF is particularly interested in programs that will enhance the employability skills of low-income participants and help them secure employment, as well as in financial literacy activities to strengthen budgeting skills, financial planning and management, and asset development when offered in conjunction with any other activity(ies).

Programs that have a strong focus on employment, including subsidized and unsubsidized employment, are encouraged to consider approaches that: (1) build from a solid understanding of local economic conditions and growth economic sectors; (2) include connections to education and training opportunities aligned to these sectors; (3) incorporate partnerships with employers in targeted sectors to increase the likelihood of placement and retention in work; and (4) use evidence-based or research-informed programs and practices.

Applicants may propose job and career advancement and subsidized and unsubsidized employment activities directly or in collaboration with program partners. However, job and career advancement or employment activities cannot be provided as stand-alone services, but must be provided in conjunction with marriage and relationship skills, or any of the other eight healthy marriage promotion activities throughout the duration of the individuals’ or couples’ enrollment in the program.

Amount: Approximately $53,846,875 is available for up to 53 awards, ranging from $350,000 to $2,000,000 per budget period with an average award of $1,015,987. Project duration is up to five years.

Eligibility: All public and private entities are eligible to apply under this announcement, including, but not limited to, state, territorial, local, and quasi-governmental agencies, Native American tribal governments and tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, independent school districts, public, private or tribal institutions of higher education, and for-profit entities.

Link: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/index.cfm?switch=foa&fon=HHS-2015-ACF-OFA-FM-0985

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