State Legislative Report
This State Legislative Report examines the special problems associated with establishing paternity and collecting child support from teenage parents. The report reviews public policy options for legislators and is divided into three major sections: establishing paternity, child support enforcement, and state legislative policy and program responses. Paternity establishment and child support enforcement are particularly difficult with the teenage population. Establishing paternity can be a problem because teenage mothers often refuse to cooperate with state child support enforcement personnel and their male partners often will not voluntarily declare paternity. A lack of money on the part of young fathers and low agency priorities make it difficult to collect child support payments within this age group. With the help of legislative appropriations, states are developing programs that assist in early paternity establishment and help increase child support enforcement awards. Common elements in these programs are media campaigns and counseling to teach young fathers about the importance of paternity establishment, educational incentives, job training and placement, parenting skills training, and child support enforcement.
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