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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: Hall, Lauren; Kim, Hae Jung; Passarella, Letitia; Born, Catherine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Federal law as well as Maryland law requires a quadrennial, case-level review of the application of quantitative child support guidelines when establishing or modifying support obligations. These reviews are meant to identify areas of policy or practice where enhancements might be needed. Most importantly, these reviews are intended to evaluate if the financial needs of children are being impartially and equitably addressed through consistent application of the guidelines. Child support is an important income source, perhaps especially for low-income families where its receipt can add as much as 20 percent to the income of single parents (Nicoli, Logan, Born, 2012). The significance of child support to the larger population and to local economies is evident from the fact that $26.5 billion in child support was collected nationally and distributed on behalf of more than 17 million children in 2010.

    Members of the Maryland General Assembly are well aware of the importance of child support in the lives of their constituents. They also understand the importance of the public...

    Federal law as well as Maryland law requires a quadrennial, case-level review of the application of quantitative child support guidelines when establishing or modifying support obligations. These reviews are meant to identify areas of policy or practice where enhancements might be needed. Most importantly, these reviews are intended to evaluate if the financial needs of children are being impartially and equitably addressed through consistent application of the guidelines. Child support is an important income source, perhaps especially for low-income families where its receipt can add as much as 20 percent to the income of single parents (Nicoli, Logan, Born, 2012). The significance of child support to the larger population and to local economies is evident from the fact that $26.5 billion in child support was collected nationally and distributed on behalf of more than 17 million children in 2010.

    Members of the Maryland General Assembly are well aware of the importance of child support in the lives of their constituents. They also understand the importance of the public child support program operated by the Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) of the Department of Human Resources (DHR) in partnership with local child support programs, the judiciary, and local Departments of Social Services. Due to the legislature’s long-standing interest in the public child support program, it requires that a written report be submitted to it describing the methodology and findings of the mandatory, periodic case review projects.

    This report is in fulfillment of the required 2012 quadrennial legislative report. The report covers the calendar years of 2007 through 2010. The research described herein was carried out by the Family Welfare Research and Training Group at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work on behalf of CSEA-DHR, as have been all prior quadrennial reviews. Report findings are based on the review of court orders and their associated guidelines worksheets for a stratified, random sample of 5,340 Maryland child support cases with new or modified support orders between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stieglitz, Ali; Johnson, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), in collaboration with the Urban Institute, has examined what local communities in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon have done to improve the coordination of this response system. This report, funded by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses specifically on the strategies that the child support and public assistance agencies in these sites have taken to improve the interagency coordination of information and services for victims of domestic violence with regard to the child support collection process, both for domestic violence victims who want exemption from this process and those who want to collect child support safely. Sometimes this coordination of effort extends to others, such as court personnel or staff from local domestic violence service organizations. The study's primary goal is to offer guidance for policymakers and agency staff in other states as they design and implement interagency strategies to help victims pursue child support safely. Given...

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), in collaboration with the Urban Institute, has examined what local communities in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon have done to improve the coordination of this response system. This report, funded by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses specifically on the strategies that the child support and public assistance agencies in these sites have taken to improve the interagency coordination of information and services for victims of domestic violence with regard to the child support collection process, both for domestic violence victims who want exemption from this process and those who want to collect child support safely. Sometimes this coordination of effort extends to others, such as court personnel or staff from local domestic violence service organizations. The study's primary goal is to offer guidance for policymakers and agency staff in other states as they design and implement interagency strategies to help victims pursue child support safely. Given its focused purpose, the study does not attempt to present a comprehensive analysis of child support enforcement policies, domestic violence issues, or the outcomes that resulted from the initiatives in our study sites. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Coley, Rebekah Levine; Schindler, Holly S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    Objective . This study assessed the supposition that fathers' parenting and economic contributions help to support maternal and family functioning. Design . Using longitudinal data from a representative sample of low-income families with young children (N = 402), semidifference models assessed whether fathers' parenting, cash, and in-kind contributions predicted maternal functioning (mothers' psychological distress and parenting stress) and family functioning (cognitive stimulation and family routines). Results . Increases in fathers' parenting contributions predicted declines in maternal psychological distress and parenting stress. Fathers' cash and in-kind contributions showed limited relations to maternal and family functioning. Interactions by fathers' residence status found few significant differences in links between resident and nonresident fathers. Conclusions . These results add empirical support to...

    Objective . This study assessed the supposition that fathers' parenting and economic contributions help to support maternal and family functioning. Design . Using longitudinal data from a representative sample of low-income families with young children (N = 402), semidifference models assessed whether fathers' parenting, cash, and in-kind contributions predicted maternal functioning (mothers' psychological distress and parenting stress) and family functioning (cognitive stimulation and family routines). Results . Increases in fathers' parenting contributions predicted declines in maternal psychological distress and parenting stress. Fathers' cash and in-kind contributions showed limited relations to maternal and family functioning. Interactions by fathers' residence status found few significant differences in links between resident and nonresident fathers. Conclusions . These results add empirical support to conceptual models delineating indirect pathways by which parental support may influence children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Craigie, Terry-Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    When parents engage in childbearing with more than one partner or multi-partnered fertility, this gives rise to a complex family system with strong implications for transfers to children. This study therefore seeks to measure the effect of multi-partnered fertility on formal and informal child support transfers, specifically to non-marital children. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), the study goes beyond previous works by isolating causal effects of male and female multi-partnered fertility as well as highlighting sample selection bias induced by mothers non-randomly selecting into formal and informal child support arrangements. I find that in general, the probability of receiving formal and/or informal child support contributions decline as the number of children a parent has with more than one partner rises. However, the study only confirms a causal adverse relationship for multi-partnered fathers. Using the endogenous switching regression to correct for sample selection bias, the model illustrates that mothers with formal...

    When parents engage in childbearing with more than one partner or multi-partnered fertility, this gives rise to a complex family system with strong implications for transfers to children. This study therefore seeks to measure the effect of multi-partnered fertility on formal and informal child support transfers, specifically to non-marital children. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), the study goes beyond previous works by isolating causal effects of male and female multi-partnered fertility as well as highlighting sample selection bias induced by mothers non-randomly selecting into formal and informal child support arrangements. I find that in general, the probability of receiving formal and/or informal child support contributions decline as the number of children a parent has with more than one partner rises. However, the study only confirms a causal adverse relationship for multi-partnered fathers. Using the endogenous switching regression to correct for sample selection bias, the model illustrates that mothers with formal child support agreements receive higher transfers than other mothers would have, had they acquired formal child support orders. Hence, mothers select the type of child support arrangement for which they comparative advantage. These findings underscore the need to revisit child support policies for complex families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pearson, Jessica; Thoennes, Nancy; Kaunelis, Rasa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This Office of Child Support Enforcement Special Improvement Project was undertaken to examine the features of effective debt compromise programs and to generate empirical information on the outcomes they produce. To identify best practices, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) convened a two-day conference in June 2009 with representatives of eight states that have experience initiating and operating debt compromise programs. In the course of discussing the strengths and limitations of their programs, representatives identified a variety of program features and approaches that they believed would be beneficial for jurisdictions interested in debt compromise. This included recommendations on appropriate program goals, the populations that states should target, effective rules and requirements to realize various types of write-offs, treatment of debt owed to custodial parents, and methods of tracking debt compromise cases.

    To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their...

    This Office of Child Support Enforcement Special Improvement Project was undertaken to examine the features of effective debt compromise programs and to generate empirical information on the outcomes they produce. To identify best practices, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) convened a two-day conference in June 2009 with representatives of eight states that have experience initiating and operating debt compromise programs. In the course of discussing the strengths and limitations of their programs, representatives identified a variety of program features and approaches that they believed would be beneficial for jurisdictions interested in debt compromise. This included recommendations on appropriate program goals, the populations that states should target, effective rules and requirements to realize various types of write-offs, treatment of debt owed to custodial parents, and methods of tracking debt compromise cases.

    To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their participation as measured by their debt levels and payment behaviors, CPR collected and analyzed information on 688 individuals enrolled in debt compromise programs in four states — California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota — and in Washington, D.C. Programs in all five settings accept obligors with current support obligations as well as those who only have arrears-only cases. For arrears-only cases, programs have the capacity to accept lump-sum payments as well as to develop payment plans that involve making monthly arrears payments over a 6 to 36-month period of time. Through a coordinated, cross-site data collection effort, comparable information was obtained on samples of cases that enrolled in the programs. The following are key findings from the analysis of this data.

    • At four of the five sites, participants paid a higher percentage of their obligation following enrollment in the debt compromise program compared with the pre-enrollment period. This considered both lump sum and monthly payments. The pre and post differences at statically significant in two of the four sites.
    • Calculating the average due in current support and monthly arrears in the 24 months prior to enrollment and in the 24 months post-enrollment shows improvements at most sites. There was an average increase of 32 percentage points in Washington, D.C., 27 percent in Maryland, 23 percent in California, and 14 percent in Illinois.
    • Payments in Minnesota improved by 7 percentage points in the 24 months following a debt compromise treatment. Unlike the other sites, Minnesota granted debt compromise to cases identified by the automated system and/or child support workers as having high debt levels due to interest charges, birthing costs, incarceration, and other factors that impeded their ability to pay. These obligors were selected for debt adjustments that typically were invisible to them.

    (author abstract)

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