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Increasing Child Support Collections from the Hard-to-Collect: Experimental Evidence from Washington State

Robert Plotnick, Asaph Glosser, M. Kathleen Moore and Emmi Obara
Social Service Review
Vol. 89, No. 3 (September 2015), pp. 427-454
DOI: 10.1086/683122
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/683122
Page Count: 28
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Increasing Child Support Collections from the Hard-to-Collect: Experimental Evidence from Washington State
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Abstract

AbstractThis article discusses experimental tests of two recent administrative interventions, the TANF 16 intervention and the statement intervention, designed to increase child support collections in Washington State. The TANF 16 intervention sought to reimburse the state for TANF benefits paid to custodial parents by intensively pursuing collections in arrears-only cases. The statement intervention tested whether sending regular billing statements to noncustodial parents who were new to the child support system increased compliance. While the TANF 16 intervention’s effects represent a substantial percentage improvement over the control group’s payment behavior, it only increased the likelihood of a noncustodial parent ever paying on arrears by 10 percentage points, the number of months with a payment by .47, and total actual payments by $75. The statement intervention did not improve compliance. These interventions demonstrate the difficulty that states face in dramatically improving collections from the hardest to serve cases.

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