Brief, NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews
To help unmarried parents improve their coparenting relationship, this National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
(NRFC) spotlight on research provides a quick look at findings from a recent journal article, “Harder Being Without the
Baby”: Fathers’ Coparenting Perspectives in Responsible Fatherhood Programming (Randles, 2020).
The research drew on interviews and focus groups conducted with 64 low-income fathers who participated in a federally
funded responsible fatherhood program in California. The program is referred to as “DADS” in the article and in this
NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews, Brief
In 2016, more than one in four children under 21 in the United States lived in a household apart from one of their parents. In 80 percent of these households, the custodial parent was the mother and the non-residential parent was the father. The amount and frequency of financial support that both parents provide shapes household economic stability, which can also affect children’s overall health and well-being. Non-residential parents often have a legal obligation to help pay the costs associated with raising their children. However, some non-residential parents pay these costs…
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.
This research brief from the Office of Child Support Enforcement identifies findings from a five-site Parenting Time Opportunities for Children (PTOC) grant. This grant, awarded to child support agencies in California, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Oregon, was intended to demonstrate how child support agencies can include parenting time orders in child support enforcement actions and how the increases in noncustodial parenting time, with safeguards in place for child welfare, led to improved relationships and increased compliance with child support payment.
The social safety net is widely recognized as having been quite successful in providing major financial support to low-income families during the Great Recession, one of the most severe economic downturns in modern U.S. history. Safety net expenditures grew in aggregate and were widely distributed to all types of needy families. Before the recession, however, while aggregate transfers to the low-income population also exhibited steady growth, the growth was not equally shared across different types of families. Transfers grew much more for the elderly and disabled relative to the nonelderly…
This brief addresses the problem of low attendance in programs for low-income fathers. We review approaches to measuring attendance, rates of attendance reported by programs, influences on attendance, the effects of attendance on fathers’ outcomes, and future directions for improving attendance and studying it. (Author abstract)
This research brief examines two aspects of low-income, nonresidential fathers' commitment to the parenting role: self-reports of the importance of the father role and perceptions of validation from others for being a good parent. The findings of this study show that both types of commitment to the father role are associated with fathers' reports of having a close relationship with his child(ren). Only validation from others is related to fathers' engagement in child-related activities. The implications of these findings for fatherhood programs are discussed in the brief. (Author abstract…
This brief explores in-depth interviews with low-income fathers enrolled in responsible fatherhood programs about their experiences with the child support system. The brief explores three main themes: 1) The challenge that economic instability poses to fathers in meeting their child support obligations; 2) Fathers’ experiences requesting modifications to make child support obligations align better with their income; and 3) Fathers’ views of the disconnection between paying child support and having access to their children. (Author abstract)
Since the 1970s, Americans’ household incomes have become more volatile, fluctuating year-to-year and week-to-week. Increased income volatility is particularly prominent among low-income families, many of whom are served by the U.S. system of means-tested income support programs. These programs provide income, goods, and services to families who prove that their income (and sometimes assets) are low enough to qualify for a particular program and meet other program requirements. At initial application, during benefit receipt, and at recertification periods, each income support program has…
Using data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education, this brief reports differences in the child care settings foreign-born and US-born parents select for their young children. The authors explore differences in parents’ child care preferences and perceptions and how being an immigrant and having limited English proficiency, among other factors, might influence parents’ interest in and ability to access different child care. (Author abstract)