Evaluation of Key Strategies and Lessons Learned from the PAF Program

Early childbearing can have significant health, social, and economic impacts on young parents and their children. Accordingly, finding ways to improve the circumstances of expectant and parenting young families and addressing their diverse needs has been a long-standing priority of the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs (OPA). Since 2010, OPA has funded states and tribal organizations to provide a network of services to support young families through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) grant program. The PAF program provides support for services such as case management, referrals to educational services, parenting education, relationship skill-building, home visiting services, referrals to healthcare, as well as more practical supports such as child care, baby supplies, food, and access to safe and stable housing. Together these services aim to make a difference in improving the educational, health, social, and economic circumstances of expectant and parenting young families.

Building on the work of previous studies, OPA is identifying successful strategies and lessons learned from the PAF grant program. This new project is an opportunity to assess the PAF program as a whole and provide a set of topical products that represent the culmination of lessons learned over the course of the PAF program. This project will generate relevant and usable findings and products that provide insight into effective strategies and challenges to ultimately inform funders, grantees, and other service providers working with expectant and parenting young families.

This project includes an initial review and synthesis of past and current program data, through which OPA will identify six topics aligned with the needs and interest of the field and key stakeholders. These topics will guide the development of six briefs and corresponding in-depth case studies. The briefs and case studies will synthesize data from the data review, phone interviews with selected grantees or partners, and site visits.

In addition to developing briefs and case study reports, OPA will also conduct a series of dissemination activities to ensure that study findings reach a range of audiences who will be able to capitalize on the findings to better serve expectant and parenting young families. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve programs and services to better meet the diverse needs and improve the well-being of these young families.