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Imagining a new future: elimination of child support obligations for child welfare-involved families


As we imagine the next generation of public child welfare, efforts to identify and eliminate practices that are harmful to families must be pursued. This commentary uses available research evidence to argue against child support enforcement for child welfare-involved families. Although research on this topic is sparse, the evidence from the few available studies suggests that child support enforcement likely harms child welfare-involved families. It delays reunification, increases family financial precarity, is cost ineffective, and is anathema to the values of family support. Federal policies that require or encourage referral of child welfare-involved families to child support agencies should be eliminated to better promote family strengths and cohesion.

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