ERIC Number: ED478270
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-30
Reference Count: N/A
Low-Income Fathers and Child Support: Starting Off on the Right Track. Final Report.
The child support reform provisions within the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) have been markedly successful in improving child support enforcement efforts. Child support is an important part of the mix of supports necessary to assist welfare recipients to make the transition to work and self-sufficiency. Now, post-PRWORA, there is a greater focus on the low income fathers who are expected to pay child support. This report examines the treatment of low income fathers in the child support system in the United States and how the system could be improved. It suggests that the time of establishment of the child support order and shortly thereafter is the key time for the child support agency to establish a more positive relationship with low income fathers. Improving this "up front" process could increase both financial and emotional support for children. The report analyzes default order practices, examines best state practices, and reviews and analyzes selected international practices. It includes recommendations for child support programs, state legislative action, and federal action. The analysis concludes that three changes to the child support system are of particular importance: reducing the proportion of orders entered by default, setting realistic child support orders at the outset, and making adjustments to orders to reflect changes in circumstances. (Contains 16 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Child Support, Child Welfare, Fathers, Low Income Groups, One Parent Family, Parent Responsibility, Welfare Recipients
Policy Studies Inc., 999 18th Street, Suite 1000, Denver, CO 80202. Tel: 303-863-0900; e-mail: Pleger@policy-studies.com.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.
Authoring Institution: Policy Studies Inc., Denver, CO.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Child Support Enforcement; Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act