Wednesday 14 February 2024


 Chinks in the Children’s Education Program

The Problem: If a child fails, who is at fault? The parents or the government?

Aim: The aim of this blog is to analyse the factors that contribute to the failure of a child.

Child support is an integral part of financial stability for many families and if the parents separate or divorce, the living standard of the entire family generally drops because a family cannot live as cheaply when divided as it did when a single entity. Courts have to consider a number of issues before passing a decree that will be in the best interest of the child, an order fraught with risk since it cannot be predicted as to how child support will need to change as the child and the environment evolve with time and whether the custodian will be in a position to maintain the child as decreed.


    The first sub-problem is to determine the extent of the role of the federal government. What has it contributed to cut down on the child support cases? And has its input been a help or a hindrance? As long as parents provide a safe level of care, the government does not interfere. In fact, the federal government’s position is to unite the states and resolve macro issues that the states could not. During the 1990s, child support was declared inadequate by state and federal policy makers. This systemic failure was blamed for child poverty rates, long-term dependence on government assistance and the ‘feminization of poverty’. Courts were criticized for awarding support payments inequitably and inconsistently. As a reforming effort, the government created programs such as the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, utilized to locate parents who had or have reneged on paying child support.

    Despite such programs, the government failed to maintain their financial commitment. With states prohibited from using federal funds to assist in the programs developed, the outcome was a back log of child support cases, unpaid child support payments and neglected children.

    The second sub-problem is to determine what laws should be passed by the states, who is to enforce these laws, who benefits most from these laws and whether the laws that govern the child support system in the United States were effective.    

    The enforcement of the laws was primarily to recover costs and assist the state and federal government to disburse welfare costs. The government recognized the support system as more of a social service and income support program for families. They believed the changing mission of the support program fit the broad goal and purpose of welfare reform to move families toward self-sufficiency.        If laws are in place for the purpose of cost recovery, why is it that ‘state collected child support is not reaching its beneficiaries’? “Studies have shown that single parents who leave welfare are three times more likely to return to welfare if they don’t get the child support they are owed,” reports, indirectly introducing welfare as a contributory factor in child support.                            

   Those familiar with the states system say apathetic bureaucracies in many states have not only rendered child support systems ineffective, but have also forced custodial parents to hire detectives to get the money owed to their children. This is a hardship on the parents no doubt, but viewed in totality, it is ultimately the children who suffer in the long run.

   Child support affects children the most as it provides them with enough resources to live a comfortable and normal life. When child support is not available, single parents have to take on extra jobs, which mean that they spend less time with their children, have less to give their offspring, ultimately detracting from the memorable experiences that children retain of their growing up period.

   Welfare affects the poor the most, as it sometimes helps people get on their feet but for the most part it paralyzes people and makes it difficult for them to return to a normal life above the poverty line.


    The first hypothesis is that both the parents and the government have failed their children.

    The second hypothesis is to identify what the federal government has contributed to the child support system and whether it has helped or hindered the system in its objective.

    The third hypothesis is the development of laws as they pertain to the child support system and how they aid in the collection of dues owed in the child support payments.

    The fourth hypothesis is to evaluate the child support system vs. the welfare system.


    The research will not predict the success of the child support system.

    The research will not provide the governments attributes to the child support system.

    The research will not specify where the child support payments go when collected and not distributed properly.


    The first assumption is that the need for the involvement of the federal government will continue.

    The second assumption is that court-ordered child support is a shot in the dark.

    The third assumption is that the government recognized the support system as more of a social service and income support program for families. 

    The fourth assumption is that single parents who leave welfare are more than likely to return to welfare if they don’t get the child support they are owed.

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