Piloting a community approach to healthy marriage initiatives: Early implementation of the Healthy Marriages Healthy Relationships Demonstration - Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) is a key component of the demonstration strategy of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to determine how public policies can best support healthy marriages. Two concepts underlie the CHMI strategy. One is that community coalitions can be an effective vehicle for developing a range of healthy marriage and healthy family activities, including classes that build relationship skills, partnerships with clergy and others, celebration days, and media messages about the value of marriage and healthy families. The second is that communities with a critical mass of such activities can exert positive family impacts on individuals and couples directly through their participation in classes and other services and indirectly through their interactions with friends, family, and others in the community who were themselves influenced by a local marriage-related activity sponsored by the local coalition. The goals of the 1115 healthy marriage initiatives are to achieve child support objectives through healthy marriage activities.