ERIC Number: ED443919
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Face to Face with Fathers: A Report on Low-Income Fathers and Their Experience with Child Support Enforcement.
Ash, Daniel O.
This report documents the experiences of low-income, never-married fathers who have children receiving public assistance and who are required to establish paternity and pay child support. Seventy-one fathers were interviewed either in focus groups or individually. Each father was asked to describe his relationship with his children, his experience with the child support enforcement system, and if legal paternity had not been established, why he had avoided it. In addition, a case study was conducted of one such father who had voluntarily sought to establish paternity and secure support and visitation orders. Findings show that for low-income, never-married fathers, paternity establishment is the trap door for Child Support Enforcement. Most of the fathers interviewed did not fear paternity establishment; they feared being held responsible for more than they could afford. For this reason, the paternity establishment rate for families dependent on public assistance has stayed relatively low despite streamlined administrative procedures for establishing paternity. A number of programs and demonstration projects show that fathers establish paternity if they have some guarantee that they will be able to manage the entire process and the risks that can accompany it. (Contains 14 endnotes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Child Support, Fathers, Legal Responsibility, Low Income Groups, Parent Responsibility, Urban Youth
Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy, 23 N. Pinckney St., Ste. 210, Madison, WI 53705 ($5). Tel: 608-257-3148.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.
Authoring Institution: Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy, Madison, WI.