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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: Powers, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    So long as child support enforcement was entirely the legal domain of the states, it was nearly impossible to pursue claims across state lines, and interstate claims were characterized as the “black hole” of child support enforcement. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) clarified lines of authority, opened state IV-D agencies and courts to interstate claimants, and invented powerful new tools for pursuing cross-state claims. This paper uses Survey of Income and Program Participation data spanning the reform era to assess the success of this policy. The potential endogeneity of interstate moves with the policy regime may bias conventional regression estimates. A conditional difference-in-difference matching estimator is implemented instead. The findings indicate greatly increased administrative enforcement activity for interstate cases subsequent to UIFSA. This activity increased formal support agreements and identified greater amounts of support owed. There is also evidence of increased interstate collections and a closing of the ‘black hole’. Support collections...

    So long as child support enforcement was entirely the legal domain of the states, it was nearly impossible to pursue claims across state lines, and interstate claims were characterized as the “black hole” of child support enforcement. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) clarified lines of authority, opened state IV-D agencies and courts to interstate claimants, and invented powerful new tools for pursuing cross-state claims. This paper uses Survey of Income and Program Participation data spanning the reform era to assess the success of this policy. The potential endogeneity of interstate moves with the policy regime may bias conventional regression estimates. A conditional difference-in-difference matching estimator is implemented instead. The findings indicate greatly increased administrative enforcement activity for interstate cases subsequent to UIFSA. This activity increased formal support agreements and identified greater amounts of support owed. There is also evidence of increased interstate collections and a closing of the ‘black hole’. Support collections increased especially for welfare-receiving households, but nonwhite households and households with nonmarital births do not appear to be helped by UIFSA. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wyckoff, Laura ; McVay, Mary ; Wallace, Dee
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2009

    Research shows that nearly half of all children born in the US today will be eligible for child support before they reach the age of 18. Many low-income, noncustodial fathers—who often struggle to make these payments—will seek services from workforce development organizations. Yet, understanding the child support enforcement system can be challenging—not only for noncustodial fathers but also for the workforce organizations that want to assist them. 

    Navigating the Child Support System aims to help meet this challenge by providing information, resources and tools to use at the intersection of workforce development and child support enforcement. The guide is based on lessons from the Fathers at Work initiative, a three-year, six-site demonstration funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which was designed to help young, noncustodial fathers achieve increased employment and earnings, involvement in their children's lives and more consistent financial support of their children. 

    The guide describes child support enforcement regulations, policies and actions that...

    Research shows that nearly half of all children born in the US today will be eligible for child support before they reach the age of 18. Many low-income, noncustodial fathers—who often struggle to make these payments—will seek services from workforce development organizations. Yet, understanding the child support enforcement system can be challenging—not only for noncustodial fathers but also for the workforce organizations that want to assist them. 

    Navigating the Child Support System aims to help meet this challenge by providing information, resources and tools to use at the intersection of workforce development and child support enforcement. The guide is based on lessons from the Fathers at Work initiative, a three-year, six-site demonstration funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which was designed to help young, noncustodial fathers achieve increased employment and earnings, involvement in their children's lives and more consistent financial support of their children. 

    The guide describes child support enforcement regulations, policies and actions that can affect fathers' willingness to seek formal employment and participate in the system, and provides examples of four services that organizations might offer to benefit fathers and their families. Navigating the Child Support System offers concrete suggestions for incorporating child support services into workforce organizations' assistance to low-income, male participants, including developing partnerships with local child support enforcement agencies. It includes seven tools for learning about child support and setting goals for enhancing services to noncustodial fathers. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Turetsky, Vicki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    The mission of the child support program is undergoing a basic shift from welfare cost recovery to helping parents support their children. However, the child support program's reimbursement policies have interfered with states' ability to implement policies to bolster family support. As states assess their capacity to improve their services to low-income parents, there are a number of policies they can consider. These policies include: (1) paying all child support to families on welfare; (2) setting realistic orders for poor fathers; (3) developing arrearage management policies; and (4) implementing case management strategies. By implementing realistic and flexible practices that encourage, rather than inhibit, the payment of regular child support by low-income fathers, child support programs can help low-income families more effectively in sustaining employment, improving family relationships, and supporting the involvement of both parents in their children's lives. (author abstract)

    The mission of the child support program is undergoing a basic shift from welfare cost recovery to helping parents support their children. However, the child support program's reimbursement policies have interfered with states' ability to implement policies to bolster family support. As states assess their capacity to improve their services to low-income parents, there are a number of policies they can consider. These policies include: (1) paying all child support to families on welfare; (2) setting realistic orders for poor fathers; (3) developing arrearage management policies; and (4) implementing case management strategies. By implementing realistic and flexible practices that encourage, rather than inhibit, the payment of regular child support by low-income fathers, child support programs can help low-income families more effectively in sustaining employment, improving family relationships, and supporting the involvement of both parents in their children's lives. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sorensen, Elaine; Koball, Heather; Pomper, Kate; Zibman, Chava
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    This report was prepared in response to a mandate from the California State Legislature to analyze how much of the $14.4 billion in child support arrears owed statewide in March 2000 was realistically collectible. Child support arrears had grown dramatically in California during the prior decade and state legislators were concerned about their collectability. The Urban Institute estimated that $3.8 billion, or 26% of the $14.4 billion, would be collected over 10 years. The reason that so little arrears are likely to be collected is that most of the arrears are owed by individuals who owe more than $20,000 in arrears and have relatively low incomes. (author abstract)

    This report was prepared in response to a mandate from the California State Legislature to analyze how much of the $14.4 billion in child support arrears owed statewide in March 2000 was realistically collectible. Child support arrears had grown dramatically in California during the prior decade and state legislators were concerned about their collectability. The Urban Institute estimated that $3.8 billion, or 26% of the $14.4 billion, would be collected over 10 years. The reason that so little arrears are likely to be collected is that most of the arrears are owed by individuals who owe more than $20,000 in arrears and have relatively low incomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sorensen, Elaine; Tannehill, Tess
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    In 2003, the Texas Office of Attorney General fundamentally altered the process of establishing child support orders, going from a highly judicial process of establishing orders to a process that establishes most orders administratively. It also substantially improved the issuance of income withholding orders. This report describes the implementation of these reforms and measures their impact. It finds that, after the reforms were implemented, the amount of time it takes to establish child support orders and income withholding orders on newly opened cases declined significantly and the amount of arrears assessed on newly established orders declined significantly, suggesting a highly successful initiative. (author abstract)

    In 2003, the Texas Office of Attorney General fundamentally altered the process of establishing child support orders, going from a highly judicial process of establishing orders to a process that establishes most orders administratively. It also substantially improved the issuance of income withholding orders. This report describes the implementation of these reforms and measures their impact. It finds that, after the reforms were implemented, the amount of time it takes to establish child support orders and income withholding orders on newly opened cases declined significantly and the amount of arrears assessed on newly established orders declined significantly, suggesting a highly successful initiative. (author abstract)

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