Welfare reform endorsed the notion that both parents should support their children financially, regardless of which parent a child lives with. Accordingly, the reforms emphasized work for custodial parents and strengthened states' ability to enforce child support laws. This approach has increased the number of working single mothers and raised child support payments. It has done less, however, for the children of the 2.5 million nonresident fathers who are poor and do not pay child support. To ensure support for these children--many of whom receive welfare--reformers must view nonresident fathers' challenges as equally important as those of custodial parents. (Author abstract).
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