COLLEGE PARK, MD., -May 23, 2011- The 5th Annual Meeting of the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees took place early May at the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland. The conference focused on the work of various marriage education, responsible fatherhood, parenting, and re-entry programs from across the country. Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) staffer Lindsey Cramer was present at the conference to showcase the Strong Fathers/Strong Families (SF/SF) initiative program, which works to strengthen marriages and family bonds in the Baltimore area. Cramer revealed a poster displaying the findings culminating from five years worth of research and work.
Cramer’s research showed the results of the five-year initiative which utilized holistic service models in the Baltimore City area to foster family relationships, namely with unmarried fathers (custodial and non-custodial). The service model involved providing a case manager for each SF/SF participant to assist the father secure additional services to become better fathers to their children and leaders for their families. Results included the number of participants served each year in the program, the number of participants securing and maintaining employment, and outcomes measured through pre-post survey methods. .
The SF/SF program has served 550 participants in Healthy Relationships, 596 participants in Responsible Parenting, and 296 participants in Economic Stability since implementation (September 2006). Of the 296 participants served in the Economic Stability activity area, 61 participants have found full-time employment and 28 of those participants have maintained employment for at least 90 days. The participants that were served by the program demonstrated an 11 percent improvement in the Life Changes index and a 13 percent increase in doing activities with their significant others, as measured by the pre-post surveys.
Since the inception of the SF/SF program, it has gained recognition from U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings and 45th District Senator Nathaniel J. McFadden, Baltimore City Senate Delegation; successfully served 14 unique cohorts of program participants; executed a media campaign across Baltimore City; and utilized a real-time case management system to improve data quality and accuracy.
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC
Founded in 2000, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC is a nonpartisan public policy research and technical assistance firm that stands out through its quantitative expertise and innovative approaches to provide rigorous, data-driven research and technical assistance to government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Located at the University of Maryland’s M Square Research Park in College Park, Optimal is a leader in driving real-time public policy research. Optimal has 60+ employees including multidisciplinary researchers with backgrounds in business, communication, economics, education, health policy, psychology, public policy, sociology, statistics, and urban planning. Optimal has four research centers: Health, Education, Housing, and Workforce Development and Social Policy.