By Jerry Regier, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

"In the late 1990s, Oklahoma undertook an innovative strategy to strengthen families by reducing its divorce and nonmarital childbearing rates.  With leadership and commitment from the highest levels, the state set out to build public support and develop a sustainable multisector initiative through a public-private collaboration.  Since then, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI) has focused on building statewide capacity to deliver instruction in marriage and relationship skills  an approach that has stimulated public awareness and dialogue about the effects of marriage and divorce.

Recognizing the consequences of its high rates of divorce and nonmarital childbearing, the State of Oklahoma, through its highest policy level  the Office of the Governor  made a major commitment in 1999 to create what is now known as the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI). This pioneering effort came before the current national and local activities to support healthy marriage that were stimulated by the federal administrations 2001 announcement of a Healthy Marriage Initiative  making the OMI the longest operating marriage initiative in the U.S."

Take a look at the full overview and report HERE