Document Type


Publication Date



Recent attempts to reduce welfare dependency have centered on collecting child support from absent parents. In this paper, data from a supplement to the April 1979 Current Population Survey are used to examine several issues related to child support. One important finding concerns the lack of a formal child-support obligation for a large number of single-parent families. Establishing such an obligation, maintaining stable, secure incomes for absent fathers, and liberalizing custody arrangements appear to be the major policies required to increase child-support collections for single-parent families.


The following article appeared in Social Service Review 58:4 (Dec 1984) Pages: 622-641. Social Service Review © 1984 The University of Chicago Press. The original publication is available at