Forum Session

Income Support Policy and the U.S. Child Support System
July 25, 2001


Jane Koppelman, Consultant


At this Forum session, overview speakers described the role of the child support system in providing income to children at all economic levels, with particular emphasis on poor families and children, as well as the changes that have occurred in the program since welfare caseloads have declined under welfare reform. The need to shift public policy from a focus on the recovery of welfare payments to a focus on family support was discussed, as was the need to address the problem of poor men who, for a variety of reasons, are unwilling or unable to meet child support payment expectations. State programs in Virginia and Maryland were described, and state officials offered ideas for addressing challenges in future child support programming. Also described was the impact on child support of increasing numbers of children born out of wedlock. Social support initiatives to address the broad needs of fathers, with the ultimate goal of making them self-sufficient and thus able to provide both economic and emotional support for their children was discussed.


Elaine Sorensen, PhD, Principal Research Associate, Urban Institute; Vicki Turetsky, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Law and Social Policy; Nathaniel L. Young, Jr., Director, Division of Child Support Enforcement, Virginia Department of Social Services; Teresa Kaiser, Executive Director, Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration

Related Materials

More information available in the accompanying publication, Issue Brief No. 766.

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