Child support programs have been proved an effective vehicle for programs that assist noncustodial parents in overcoming barriers to economic stability, such as intermittent employment, limited education, and criminal records. As a result, child support programs have increasingly included employment-oriented programs into their service lineup through work-oriented programs that may include case management, fatherhood/parenting education, and work-oriented services such as job readiness training, job search assistance, access to job developers, and job training.
As of February 2014, 30 states and the District of Columbia are operating 77 work oriented child support programs. Some of these programs are statewide, some include multiple counties and others cover an individual county. Three models were identified by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement report on Work-Oriented Programs for Noncustodial Parents with Active Child Support Agency Involvement. The first is a child support led model where child support programs operate the workforce program, the second is a community based model and the third is a collaborative model where multiple agencies or public and private organizations work together.
As illustrated below, many funding sources are used to operate these work-oriented child support programs. Everything from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), grants from federal agencies and departments, use of existing IV-D funds, use of child support incentive payments, and private funding, to other state identified funds are being used to fund these programs.
Work-Oriented Child Support Programs**
** This information was compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement report on Work-Oriented Programs for Noncustodial Parents with Active Child Support Agency Involvement from February 2014. To view information about the counties affected in each state, the estimated amount of noncustodial parents helped and whether these programs are court-based, view the entire report here.
*PLEASE NOTE: The National Conference of State Legislatures is an organization serving state legislators and their staff. We cannot offer legal advice or assistance with individual cases, but we do try to answer questions on general topics.
About This NCSL Project
NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support policy, financing, laws, research and promising practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legislature that would like training or assistance related to this topic.
The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. In D.C., Joy Johnson Wilson at 202-624-8689 or by e-mail at email@example.com and Rachel Morgan at (202) 624-3569 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.