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Exploring Paths to Child Support Compliance

The National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) included integrated child support, employment, and parenting services for noncustodial parents facing employment and child support challenges. Wisconsin, one of eight states selected to implement CSPED, implemented the CSPED program Supporting Parents, Supporting Kids (SPSK) in Brown and Kenosha Counties. The overall impact evaluation, conducted by IRP and its partner Mathematica, used a best practice random-assignment design and concluded that CSPED did not significantly increase child support compliance, which had been its primary goal.

This report extends the impact evaluation to explore why there was no impact on compliance. Did participants not receive services? Or were services not effective in achieving the predicted intermediate outcomes (satisfaction with the child support program, earnings, and sense of responsibility for children)? Or were the intermediate outcomes not effective in achieving increased compliance? We explore these questions, focusing on SPSK in Wisconsin, with selected information on the full eight states in CSPED. Our analyses do not support causal estimates, but they do provide suggestive evidence on why the predicted relationship did not hold.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, CSPED, Orders & Payments


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