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.
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)
This report presents interim impact and implementation findings of seven transitional jobs programs from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. Two of the sites in that study — in Atlanta and San Francisco — are also a part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration. The two studies closely coordinated beyond the shared sites, including shared reports, common data collection instruments, and other ongoing collaboration.The report shares early results in the areas of implementation, employment outcomes, recidivism, and child support payment…
Child Support programs and courts across the country are connecting noncustodial parents to job services as an alternative to jail, which has achieved promising results. Job services are effectively helping parents find work, stay employed, pay child support, and avoid crime - at relatively little cost. This comparative infographic, "Jobs Not Jail", contrasts the impactful cost and benefit differences between the two. It displays how work-oriented services are successfully leveraging and achieving compliance from noncustodial parents who were once unemployed or underemployed. (Author abstract)
The first evaluation report of OCSE's Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) documents CSPED's planning year and first year of implementation, offering insights into recruitment, engagement, collaborative partnerships, and service delivery strategies for anyone thinking about or actually implementing employment programs for noncustodial parents who are unable to pay their child support. (Author abstract modified)