Tools for Better Practices and Better Outcomes: The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) Project

Yana Kusayeva and Cynthia Miller, MRDC
November 2019

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) funded the Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS)demonstration grant to explore the application of behavioral science principles to operational challenges in child support services. This report summarizes the outcomes and lessons learned from each intervention. The eight grantees implemented interventions designed to address barriers to the establishment, enforcement, and modification of child support orders. The interventions ranged from simplifying paperwork to implementing in-person meetings with parents to explain payment options. Overall, the grant projects demonstrated a lot of potential for behavioral science to improve child support services. The interventions didn’t always have the intended effects, so there is an ongoing need to test and refine these practices.