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Backing Away From Parental Responsibility: Child Support Budget Cuts Will Unravel a Decade of Progress

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Publication Date: November 2005

Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Vicki Turetsky

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Under the House of Representatives’ proposed budget reconciliation bill, the child support program faces a 40 percent cut in federal funds over the next 10 years—funds the program uses to establish and enforce non-custodial parents’ child support responsibilities to their children. The cuts threaten to reverse a decade of stunning progress in a program that serves two-thirds of all single-parent families in the United States and benefits more than 17 million children.

This paper examines the importance of the child support program, the reasons behind its dramatic improvement in performance, and how these cuts would jeopardize families of all income levels.