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Causing Child Support Problems Essay

1781 words - 7 pages

When the economy is bad, providing for a family can be extremely difficult for a single-parent household. It becomes more difficult when a non-custodial parent stops making court-ordered child support payments that the family depends on. One would think that a government funded program that claims to provide the same variety of services to both welfare and non-welfare recipients would be beneficial in retaining the support from the non-residential parent. However, this is not true in all child support cases. Single-family households, who do not receive their child support, are living in poverty because child support specialists are overwhelmed with welfare cases that they make a priority. In the case of the child support specialist, it is all about the return of investment for the government. Because of the increased percentage of welfare cases, it is the understaffed child support specialist’s position to focus primarily on collecting money for the federal government, which in many cases leaves non-welfare recipients without help. Single-family households are suffering in a world of poverty because of overwhelmed child support specialists who focus primarily on their welfare cases due to the growing child support policies, high volume of divorce rates, poor economic conditions and teen pregnancies.
With the policies changing frequently, it can be difficult for child support specialists to stay informed of the laws and the procedures that are required by them to perform their job duties. Also with so many responsibilities, it is difficult for specialists to complete their duties in the limited time given per case. With so many changes in the federal and state policies, I wonder if the child support specialists are staying informed. “Social workers need to be knowledgeable about the laws and policies at the state and federal level.” (Laakso 369). Recipients of child support payments depend on child support specialists to know and understand the policies. They also expect the specialists to view their case monthly to ensure policies are being enforced within their case. In 1974 Social Security introduction Title IV-D of the Social Security, which created the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, this brought about child support specialist whose job consisted of obtaining money from the non-custodial parent. It did not include non-welfare recipients, so by 1980 AFCD broadened to serve all children eligible for support regardless of income or welfare status (Lamb 387). This policy opened the door for custodial parents to pursue the non-custodial parent to enforce child support, but it also added extra loads on the specialists. With the extra caseloads, specialists were already overwhelmed when it came to performing their timely duties in their positions.
Then by 1996 the AFDC program was replaced by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which the primary efforts were directed on those on welfare (Comanor 3). This is where the system...

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