Approaches for Engaging Fathers in Child Support Programs (Fact Sheet)
- Father outreach efforts focus on the emotional and other nonfinancial contributions fathers make to children’s well-being.
- Partnerships help fathers achieve their full potential.
- Using data and evaluation methods can support sustaining father engagement activities.
With support from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, child support agencies across the country are working to help child support-paying parents—especially fathers—build and maintain strong relationships with their children by connecting fathers to employment services; helping fathers spend more time with their children; considering how much time fathers spend with their children when setting child support orders; and partnering with local fatherhood programs. Child support payments are associated with increased parent-child engagement, which can lead not only to better academic and social outcomes for children but also to better parent-child and parent-parent relationships. This Fact Sheet specifically highlights strategies that three child support programs use to help fathers overcome barriers to child support payment and encourage fathers’ greater involvement with their children. The study is sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.