This exploratory study looks at the role of child support in welfare reform. Specifically, it focuses on the child support case status and child support receipt of children whose families have left Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA; Maryland s TANF program). Subsequent analyses will examine the characteristics and employment situations of the non-custodial parents of children whose families formerly received welfare as well as further address the relationship between child support receipt and welfare recidivism.
This project came about partially as a result of policy makers emphasizing that financial self-sufficiency for single parent families can be achieved through a combination of employment, support services, and child support from the non-custodial parent. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 acknowledged the importance of child support in the welfare-to-work equation by including provisions such as new enforcement tools and programs for non-custodial parents.
This report examines the following research questions: