January 2022 | Maria Cancian, Daniel R. Meyer, and Robert G. Wood, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management

Do Carrots Work Better than Sticks? Results from the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration

The results of the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) grant may have been modest, but these types of programs will move the child support program forward. CSPED tested the effectiveness of alternative methods of enforcing child support orders: adjusting orders, reducing punitive enforcement, and offering employment services to parents. The results showed increased parent satisfaction with the program even though compliance, payments, and employment outcomes didn’t change. The results show potential for using the child support program as a means to connect paying parents with job opportunities.

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