November 2017 | Trish Skophammer; PhD Candidate

Child Support Collections to Offset Out-of-Home Placement Costs: A Study of Cost Effectiveness

Families that experience out-of-home placement (OHP)  of a child in the child welfare or juvenile justice system are disproportionately poor, and the reasons for OHP often stem from poverty. Because OHP is expensive, and society values parental responsibility, federal and state laws require that parents be referred to the child support system to help offset the cost of OHP through child support collections. This study explores practices around OHP cases in the child support system and adds to the small amount of existing research in this area. Specifically, the study looks at case data from the Minnesota child support program. This research recommends that the child support program not be used to help offset the cost of OHP by collecting obligations from resident parents.


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