How Low-Income Fathers in Responsible Fatherhood Programs Perceive and Provide Financial Support for Their Children: Summary Brief

How Low-Income Fathers in Responsible Fatherhood Programs Perceive and Provide Financial Support for Their Children: Summary Brief

OPRE Report #2020-118
Published: Oct 30, 2020
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Associated Project

Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Time frame: 2011–2020

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

Financial support from fathers can lead to important improvements in child well-being. Financial support from noncustodial fathers, often provided through formal child support payments, can make up a substantial part of the income of single-parent families and lead to reductions in child poverty (ACF 2016; Sorensen 2010). Child well-being can be improved when child support programs enable and enforce fathers’ financial support for children. Child support has been linked to a variety of positive outcomes, such as improved educational outcomes, increased health insurance coverage, and reduced risk of maltreatment (ACF 2016; Cancian et al. 2013; Knox 1996).

This brief describes how low-income fathers participating in Responsible Fatherhood (RF) programs perceive and provide financial support for their children. It combines quantitative and qualitative information collected on fathers as part of the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation, a multi-component evaluation of RF programs for low-income fathers funded by grants awarded by Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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