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.
Fatherhood Summit Session
Addressing fathers’ employment needs is crucial in most fatherhood programs, but many dads face special challenges in finding work. This session began with a brief overview of how employment has been addressed in fatherhood programs through key demonstration projects such as Parents’ Fair Share. Next, the presenters described effective methods for providing employment services to a range of high-need fathers including noncustodial or nonresidential fathers, and fathers with criminal records, minimal education, or child support arrears. The presenters addressed common road blocks to…
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…
Responsible Fatherhood programs often have a strong focus on workforce development activities. The federal Office of Family Assistance requires their Responsible Fatherhood grantees to provide economic stability activities, such as job training, employment services, and career-advancing education, and other fatherhood programs typically recognize the importance of helping fathers improve their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children. Workforce development activities generally include training for specific job skills (such as welding, automotive mechanics, or…
Brief, NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews, Brief
Roughly one in five people and more than one in 10 men between the ages of 18 and 44 in the United States live in rural communities. Although rural and urban fathers are similar in many ways, there are significant differences shaping their lives and opportunities that have implications for fatherhood programs. For instance, program staff working in rural communities often report that higher rates of unemployment, lower educational attainment, limited job opportunities, and lack of transportation translate to challenges that are difficult to address and unique to rural communities. This…
NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews, Brief
This data snapshot provides information from published resources on a range of employment characteristics of resident fathers, including employment rates, employment status, earnings, family structure, and division of household labor.
An NRFC team visited the Fathers and Families Center in Indianapolis on April 23 and 24, 2018. The team had the opportunity to talk with program staff, participants, graduates, and community partners. This NRFC Spotlight highlights aspects of the Fathers and Families Center work with fathers that may be of interest to other fatherhood practitioners, including Recruitment, Intake and Assessment, The Role of Partner Agencies, and Strong Fathers Classes.
As part of the "Looking Forward" series, which provides policymakers with memos that suggest ways to make progress on critical issues, MDRC presents the topic of balancing welfare support for poor families and children with promoting self-sufficiency through work.
Investing in infrastructure on a national scale could potentially not only strengthen our economiccompetitiveness and enhance public safety, it could also provide millions of new jobs forAmericans who are currently out of work, underemployed, or seeking higher wages. Thiswould be particularly important in communities—both rural and urban—that continue tostruggle with high unemployment and limited job opportunities. (Author abstract modified)
Low-income families face significant challenges navigating both low-wage employment or education and training programs and also finding good-quality child care. Programs that intentionally combine services for parents and children can help families move toward economic security and create conditions that promote child and family well-being. Although these programs in general are not new (see Background), policymakers and program leaders are now experimenting with innovative approaches to combining services. Yet, most currently operating programs, sometimes called “two-generation” or “dual…