FAQscontact us, and we will attempt to assist you.
Why is the government involved in funding marriage strengthening programs? Isn't that a private or religious responsibility?
Marriage IS personal and private. However, when marriages fail, taxpayers are left with the bill. A recent study released in April, 2008, estimates the annual costs of divorce and unwed parenting at $112 billion dollars. See a two page fact sheet and/or the entire 44 page study.
"This study documents for the first time, that divorce and unwed child-bearing--besides being bad for children--are costing taxpayers a ton of money," said David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values. "Even a small improvement in the health of marriage in America would result in enormous savings to taxpayers," he continued. "For example, a 1 percent reduction in rates of family fragmentation would save taxpayers $1.1 billion."
The federal healthy marriage initiative started in February 2002. Guided by the President and Congress the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families directed funding to support research and to provide healthy marriage resources in local communities. This mission of the federal healthy marriage initiative is to help couples, who have chosen marriage for themselves, gain greater access to marriage education services, on a voluntary basis, where they can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to form and sustain a healthy marriage.
To learn more about the Federal Healthy Marriage Initiative, visit: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/
How can MRC provide free services? How is MRC supported?
Most of MRC’s funding comes through a federal grant. Additionally, MRC receives support through the local Job & Family Services, churches and private individuals.
What is the cost for MRCMV services (classes or mentoring)?
As of now, all classes and mentoring is FREE. If a couple or individual is referred for counseling – the fee would be the counselor’s going rate – CitiLookout charges $50 per hour.
How did your agency get started?
We were launched in January, 2004 in response to concerns about the high divorce statistics in our county. Our local Department of Job and Family Services director, Bob Suver, pioneered an ongoing investment in our marriage strengthening efforts. See Our history page for the complete story.
I have a friend/family member that could really benefit from your services – how would you suggest I approach them?
The best way to get someone to attend is to invite them to go with you to a class – if they see you participating, that reduces the stigma they might otherwise associate with seeking resources. This could be one of our couple’s classes or one of the gender-specific classes – depending on their situation.
Why did you change your name from Marriage Savers of Clark County to Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley?
We made this name change in early 2006 to position ourselves more accurately. Although Marriage Savers is a successful national franchise led by Mike and Harriet McManus, the name began to connote that we were just for the most desperate of marriages, which was not true. Our continuum of services actually spans relationship education initiatives in high schools all the way to marriage education and mentoring for couples in existing marriages. In between are programs for women only, men only and couples preparing for marriage.
Another major reason for changing our name reflects the conviction that we don't save marriages. We can help couples create loving, lasting marriages through educating and mentoring; however, the power to save a marriage rests with the choices a couple makes to access and implement healthy marriage resources.
Does MRC provide counseling? Is MRC a counseling organization?
MRCMV does not provide counseling but focuses on Relationship and Marriage Education in addition to coordinating a Marriage Mentoring program. The brochure highlights key services offered. However, MRCMV has a close working relationship with CitiLookout (a Christian counseling organization) and can provide professional intakes and assessments as well as referrals to counseling.
Why did you choose to celebrate Black Marriage Day? Won't non-black couples feel discriminated against? What if there was a White Marriage Day?
We understand that some might be offended with the concept of a Black Marriage Day. However, we support the concept as launched by Nisa I. Muhammed in 2001. The impetus for her launching Black Marriage Day was the troubling perception among many African-American youth and mothers--according to Ms. Muhammed--that "marriage is a 'white folks thing' and that young black girls place higher value on being a mother than being a wife". This is supported statistically in that 70% of black children grow up without a father in the home.
Our position is to be as supportive as we can of any initiative that seeks to reverse unhealthy patterns and perceptions related to marriage. We encourage those who differ to look beyond what may feel like discrimination to the motive of launching a Black Marriage Day in the first place. Two helpful resources to understand this motive can be found in the following links:
Black Marriage Day website>>>
Excellent article on Black Marriage Day by Crystal Hernandez for WomenCo>>>
We will continue to highlight and honor married couples who demonstrate and inspire healthy marriage--regardless of racial origin--during National Marriage Week each year in mid-February.
Are MRC programs faith-based?
Although MRC is a faith-based organization, programs funded through government grants (primarily the free programs) are not overtly faith-based. However, the concepts and skills taught are compatible with traditional Judeo-Christian values. Couples and individuals may request faith-based mentoring or other faith-based resources and will be directed to such resources.
My wife and I have a heart for marriages and are wondering how we might get involved.
Great! MRC is always looking for couples with a heart and passion to come along side and support younger or struggling couples. You might want to consider getting training to become a marriage mentor. Talk to Barb Dotson (Clark or Champaign County) or Becki Robinson (Greene County).
Where are classes held?
Most of the classes are held at the Springfield and Xenia office training centers. Additionally, classes are offered at other locations on a more infrequent basis. The website has an up to date list of upcoming classes.
When are the classes or how do I sign up for a class?
Visit our programs - if you are interested in attending any of the classes we offer, you can register online.
- I would love to attend a class but my husband/wife would never agree to it.
Where is that video of the guy talking about men's brains and women's brains?
This is one of the most requested video segments we've hosted. It's a five minute segment of Mark Gungor, founder of Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, sharing the differences between the male and female brain.
Here are several ways to access the video:
-On our website go to the Resources:Multimedia/Downloads and click on the video in the left side bar.
-It is hosted on YouTube. Watch it. As of May, 2008 it has 1.7 million hits! Enjoy!
Are Lavern and Ronda available for other speaking engagements?
Yes – they have been featured speakers at a number of retreats, dinners, small groups, etc. and can customize their input and fees based on your needs. Typically, a minimum 6-month planning time is required. Call Lavern to discuss further.