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Healthy marriage policy and programs are the ""new kid on the block"" in social policy. In the mid-90s several states and communities began to engage in marriage-related reforms and services designed to strengthen marriage and reduce divorce rates. In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) launched a Healthy Marriage Initiative and began funding research and service programs. This Introductory Guide provides a descriptive summary of the ACF Initiative in three parts:

(i) Demonstration grants funded under existing discretionary programs administered by several offices and bureaus in ACF from 2002-2007;
(ii) Demonstration five-year grants funded in 2006 under the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Act provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act (2005), administered by the Office of Family Assistance; and
(iii) Research and evaluation activities funded since 2002 and administered by the Office of Policy, Research and Evaluation in ACF, designed to inform, improve and assess healthy marriage programs. Also included is a selection of research activities funded and administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), DHHS that relate to, and support, the goals of the ACF Healthy Marriage Initiative.

This guide gives a broad overview of the different types of activities that have been funded, the diversity of populations being served, and the various program settings in which these healthy marriage services are being offered. For more details about specific programs and funding information see For information about healthy marriage and relationships research, evaluation and programs see the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, For information about responsible fatherhood programs and related research and evaluation see the National Fatherhood Clearinghouse (Author abstract)