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Knowledge Works! Expanding Capacity for Employment Programs

Helping states connect and share knowledge on employment programs for noncustodial parents

Executive Summary

Recent decades have seen increases in child support collections from new laws and policies, but progress has plateaued. Research has demonstrated many parents do not, and are unable to, pay child support because they are unemployed or underemployed and face significant barriers to employment such as low levels of education, little to no work history, criminal backgrounds, substance use, and homelessness. Continued improvement in collecting child support is dependent on enhancing our ability to address unemployment and underlying reasons for non-payment. Providing employment services is not currently an allowable use of child support related funding, which has limited implementation and expansion of early and successful innovations in this area. The team will develop resources to support states implementation and development of evidence-based employment programs. The resources will assist in identifying state-specific partnership opportunities and funding sources, identifying which employment supports are effective with which segments of the population, creating a menu of evidence-based and promising approaches, facilitating peer to peer learning, and providing technical assistance to consider, implement or enhance child support-led employment programs. These programs will remove barriers to payment of child support, and maximize families’ ability to attain self-sufficiency, thereby further reducing poverty and need for government assistance.

Team Members

Chad Edinger (team lead), ACF
Michael Hayes, ACF
Lauren Antelo, ASPE


October 2018: Project selected into the HHS Ignite Accelerator
March 2019: Time in Accelerator Began
June 2019: Time in Accelerator Ended
September 2019: Website launched