FSA Program Manager, Cynthia MacDuff, Participates in Federal Research Project

Cynthia MacDuff, a Family Support Services Program Manager for Family Service Agency (FSA) of Santa Barbara County, has been invited to participate as a subject matter expert in research being conducted by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). MacDuff has been asked to provide participate in several webinars and individual consultations, and attend an in-person meeting in Washington, D.C. later this month.

The goal of the research project is to strengthen Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programs funded by the ACF by identifying common implementation challenges and refining promising solutions. As recipient of a federal grant from ACF, FSA has offered healthy relationship and parent education programs since July 2016 to 995 participants countywide, with 81% completing the program.

Strong, supportive families are critical to the health and well-being of children.  Since 2005, Congress has authorized federal funding for HMRE programs to encourage the formation of healthy relationships and stable families that provide supportive environments for children.

“According to ACF research, healthy relationship programs often face implementation challenges in areas such as recruitment, participation, and program completion,” said Lisa Brabo, FSA Executive Director. “In the five years that we have operated this program, we have worked to implement effective solutions to increase class attendance and successful completion.

“We’re extremely proud that our work has been identified and Cynthia has been chosen to help strengthen this vital federal program.”


Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County (FSA) is a nonprofit social service agency that has served the people of Santa Barbara County since 1899. Operating as Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center (SMVYFC) in Santa Maria and Little House By The Park (LHP) in Guadalupe, FSA helps the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors meet their basic needs while simultaneously addressing mental health needs. Through this holistic approach, FSA improves the strength and well-being of our community. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit fsacares.org or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.

Leave a Reply