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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation Administration for Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Services
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The “Fatherhood: Ongoing Research and Program Evaluation Efforts” brief describes ACF’s ongoing research and evaluation projects related to 1) the Responsible Fatherhood grant program, 2) noncustodial parents, and 3) fathers and fatherhood more broadly. It also describes some of ACF’s past research and evaluation efforts related to fatherhood. (Author introduction)

    The “Fatherhood: Ongoing Research and Program Evaluation Efforts” brief describes ACF’s ongoing research and evaluation projects related to 1) the Responsible Fatherhood grant program, 2) noncustodial parents, and 3) fathers and fatherhood more broadly. It also describes some of ACF’s past research and evaluation efforts related to fatherhood. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Kuehn, Daniel; Hassani, Hannah; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report was updated on August 28, 2019. On page vi, the share of child support payments in California that is owed to the government was changed from 70 percent to 40 percent to reflect the most recent data. On page 2, “In San Francisco” was changed to “According to the San Francisco Department of Child Support Services” to clarify the source of the percentage in the first paragraph. (author abstract)

    This report was updated on August 28, 2019. On page vi, the share of child support payments in California that is owed to the government was changed from 70 percent to 40 percent to reflect the most recent data. On page 2, “In San Francisco” was changed to “According to the San Francisco Department of Child Support Services” to clarify the source of the percentage in the first paragraph. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Turetsky, Vicki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support. Parents who paid the least amount were expected to pay more than 70 percent of their income. Parents who struggle to pay some or all of their child support often have low incomes – earning below $20,000 per year. This disparity is unfair and unsustainable. In our latest report, Reforming Child Support to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, author Vicki Turetsky, who served as the commissioner for the U.S. office of child support enforcement for nearly eight years, examines the data and finds...

    Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support. Parents who paid the least amount were expected to pay more than 70 percent of their income. Parents who struggle to pay some or all of their child support often have low incomes – earning below $20,000 per year. This disparity is unfair and unsustainable. In our latest report, Reforming Child Support to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, author Vicki Turetsky, who served as the commissioner for the U.S. office of child support enforcement for nearly eight years, examines the data and finds that it is time for Maryland to reform its child support system. Not only are orders for many low-income parents set unrealistically high, but policies around enforcement and collection are unnecessarily punitive. For example, people who fail to pay child support can have their license suspended. But the research shows that this strategy further interferes with low-income parents’ ability to pay by affecting their ability to find and maintain employment and does not yield more money for the state. The report focuses on 15 policy recommendations that Maryland should implement to increase the effectiveness of our child support system. Three key evidence-based strategies underlie the policy recommendations in the report:

    1. Set child support orders that reflect parents’ actual ability to pay.
    2. Reduce uncollectible child support debt.
    3. Ensure that children, not the state, receive the money when their parents pay child support.

    By focusing on these three evidence-based strategies—and the specific policy recommendations in this report—we hope to offer promising alternatives that better meet the needs of low-income children and families. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Parness, Jeffrey A.; Timko, Matthew
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Traditionally, American state laws have recognized that the federal constitutional right to the “care, custody, and control” of a child vests in either the heterosexual birth parents or the adoptive parents of the child. Recently, state laws have also recognized this parental right of “care, custody, and control” to opposite sex unmarried couples who bore the child of sex. Even more recently, state laws have recognized this parental right for those who did not engage in sexual intercourse leading to a pregnancy and birth. State laws have also increasingly limited this childcare right of traditionally recognized parents by allowing nonparents to secure court-ordered childcare over the objections of current parents, whether by recognizing these nonparents as de facto parents or as third parties with childcare standing. While state childcare law opportunities have evolved significantly as family structures, genetic testing, and assisted reproduction techniques have changed, the laws on parental and nonparental child support have not changed much. This Article explores actual and...

    Traditionally, American state laws have recognized that the federal constitutional right to the “care, custody, and control” of a child vests in either the heterosexual birth parents or the adoptive parents of the child. Recently, state laws have also recognized this parental right of “care, custody, and control” to opposite sex unmarried couples who bore the child of sex. Even more recently, state laws have recognized this parental right for those who did not engage in sexual intercourse leading to a pregnancy and birth. State laws have also increasingly limited this childcare right of traditionally recognized parents by allowing nonparents to secure court-ordered childcare over the objections of current parents, whether by recognizing these nonparents as de facto parents or as third parties with childcare standing. While state childcare law opportunities have evolved significantly as family structures, genetic testing, and assisted reproduction techniques have changed, the laws on parental and nonparental child support have not changed much. This Article explores actual and potential child support laws arising from the new childcare laws for both parents and nonparents. (author abstract)

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