In addition to the rigorous evaluations of the MOMS Partnership® (see our Impact page for more), we engage in research to inform how we design and refine the program - and share what we're learning with the field.

The MOMS Partnership® Needs Assessment

In 2010, the MOMS Partnership began its work in New Haven by asking mothers themselves about what they need and want for their own lives and their families' futures. To date, we've interviewed over 4,000 women, and what we learn has helped us design a program that is truly responsive to what many in our target population are experiencing.

Specifically, after interviewing 1,112 moms, we found the following factors placed mothers at high risk for poor outcomes for themselves and their children (ranked in order):

  • Poverty, not specifically defined by mothers as lack of money, but rather defined as tangible, basic needs related to parenting-diapers, food, child care, clothing, and unstable housing;
  • Social isolation; and
  • High levels of maternal mental illness or "stress," defined by mothers to include psychiatric symptoms and actual depressive, anxiety and addictive disorders.

You can see direct links between these findings and the design of the MOMS Partnership model. For example, three of the four MOMS interventions are group-based to help stimulate social connection.

Download the Needs Assessment Questionnaire: English

Download the Needs Assessment Questionnaire: Spanish


A key part of what we do is generating and sharing knowledge. We are committed to not only using data internally to design and refine our model to serve women as effectively as possible - but we are also committed to helping the field learn alongside with us.

Brief on Adverse Childhood Experiences

Brief on Adverse Childhood Experiences among Parenting Women in New Haven

Selected Articles

Case Reports, Technical Notes

  1. Smith MV, Yonkers KA "Mood disorders in perinatal women." American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) Precis, May, 2005.

Embracing 2-Gen: Findings from the District of Columbia’s TANF Survey

As part of our collaboration with the Washington, DC, Department of Human Services (DHS) to replicate MOMS in DC, we have assisted DC DHS with a survey of parents who receive benefits through DC’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In April 2018, a new Two-Generation (2-Gen) Policy took effect, ushering in a set of reforms to better serve both parents and children. With philanthropic support, MOMS is providing DHS free technical assistance – specifically in designing the survey, developing the methodology, and analyzing the data in partnership with DHS -- to assess the impact of these policy changes at baseline and in future years on financial, health, and well-being indicators.

Conducted in Spring 2018, the baseline survey of 565 DC customers receiving TANF serves as a point of comparison for the effects of 2-Gen Policy, but it also provides insights that can help DHS and MOMS best meet the needs of families. For example, we found that the majority of customers actually screened positive for depressive symptoms indicative of clinical depression (60%) despite nearly half reporting their emotional health as “Excellent” or “Good.” In our final report “Embracing 2-Gen: Findings from the District of Columbia’s TANF Survey,” we describe both the details of our findings and recommendations for how this information can guide future initiatives.

You can read the full report here.

We look forward to continuing to partner with DHS to tailor MOMS to meet the needs in DC surfaced by this survey.

Research in Partnership with the National Diaper Bank Network on Diaper Need

Diaper Need graphic

Nationwide, one in three families with young children reports experiencing diaper need, a challenge which threatens the mental health of parents and interferes with their ability to access childcare and attend work. MOMS is collaborating with Yale New Haven Hospital and the National Diaper Bank Network on a study that tests a new approach we're exploring to reduce diaper need and its impact on a family’s health and economic success. Check back for updates on our ongoing research and new findings on diaper need.