The Knowledge Works initiative helps child support agencies implement or enhance a noncustodial parent employment program by highlighting the work of successful programs in other jurisdictions. By sharing documents and connecting agencies to OCSS subject matter experts, we can help assess your program, plan, implement, and determine funding sources to develop your child support-led noncustodial parent employment program.
Successful reentry is one of the greatest challenges facing America today and, especially the future of our children. The greatest predictor of whether a child will wind up in prison is whether his parent(s)— namely, the father—was in prison. Despite the many daunting challenges that fathers face upon their release, connecting them with their children and family is perhaps the most strategic one to address because it breaks the generational nature of crime and incarceration.
In fiscal year 2018, noncustodial parents were obligated to pay nearly $33.6 billion in current child support on behalf of the 15 million children served by the Title IV-D child support program. One-third of that, or $11 billion, was not collected. Unemployment is the leading reason for non-payment of child support by noncustodial parents. This brief will explore the opportunities at the state and federal levels to provide employment services to noncustodial parents and increase child support payments in the process.
The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project is an ambitious effort to apply behavioral science principles to improving services related to child care, child support, and work support. As is the case with most behavioral research, the BIAS project focuses on individual client behavior. This approach provides significant benefits by allowing for low-cost, incremental improvements that can accumulate over time. One extension to this individual-level approach would be to consider the behavior of individual staff members who work with those clients. Another beneficial…
Low-skilled men, especially minorities, typically work at low levels and provide little support for their children. Conservatives blame this on government willingness to support families, which frees the fathers from responsibility, while liberals say that men are denied work by racial bias or the economy--either a lack of jobs or low wages, which depress the incentive to work. The evidence for all these theories is weak. Thus, changing program benefits or incentives is unlikely to solve the men's work problem. More promising is the idea of linking assistance with administrative requirements…
New York state implemented a pilot employment program from 2006 to 2009 for parents behind in their child support. These pilot programs, part of the Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers Initiative, provided employment-oriented services, fatherhood/parenting workshops, case management, and other support services to nearly 4,000 parents behind in their child support in four New York communities. Our evaluation shows that these programs successfully helped participants find work, increase their earnings, and pay more child support. These gains continued for at least a year after…
New York launched a pilot employment program to help parents behind in their child support in four communities between 2006 and 2009. The program was part of the state's Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers Initiative. Our evaluation found that the program's combination of employment assistance, case management, and other support services substantially increased the earnings and child support payments of disadvantaged parents who were not meeting their child support obligations.
Research in behavioral economics has shown that small changes in the environment can make it easier for people to act and make decisions that support their goals. For example, research suggests that small changes to make processes easier — such as simplifying application instructions, prepopulating forms with available required information, and streamlining procedures — can improve human services program design and outcomes. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project used behavioral insights to address issues related to the operations, implementation, and efficacy…
The federal government’s support of fatherhood initiatives raises a wide array of issues. This report briefly examines the role of the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) agency in fatherhood programs, discusses initiatives to promote and support father-child interaction outside the parents’ relationship, and talks aboutthe need most see for work-oriented programs that enable noncustodial parents to have the financial ability to meet their child support obligations in a consistent and timely manner. (Author abstract modified)
August is Child Support Awareness Month. State and local child support offices are scheduling special events to focus on the importance of providing child support for children and highlight services available to help both custodial and noncustodial parents provide for their children on a regular basis. As we heard in our March 2013 and April 2015 NRFC webinars, child support programs are evolving at the national and state levels and moving away from “welfare cost recovery” models to “family centered practices” that emphasize accurate child support orders based on actual income, family…