The purpose of this report is to identify the characteristics of the custodial1 parent families who used the services of the child support enforcement system authorized under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act in 1999 and 2001. Although the report includes information from both 1999 and 2001, the analysis that forms the basis of this report is focused on the most recent year, 2001. The report uses survey data from the Census Bureau to describe this population by various family characteristics, including income, poverty, and participation in government programs, including cash assistance. It also provides information on demographic characteristics such as the gender and marital status of the custodial parent and the residence of the non-custodial parent. Finally, it addresses the question of whether the family has a child support agreement in place or has received child support payments.
The analysis examines these outcomes for the entire population of child support-eligible families in 2001, as well as for those both receiving and not receiving IV-D services. In addition, subgroup analysis has been done for families reporting different racial and ethnicity status, and for those families with incomes below and near the federal poverty line.
Participation in the IV-D system was determined by a number of variables that are detailed below and in the technical appendix. Respondents are further broken down into three categories:
- Families receiving cash benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program;
- Families using other means-tested cash and non-cash public assistance programs (Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)), and
- Families that reported no usage for the public assistance programs noted above during 1999 or 2001.