Skip to main content
Back to Top


Reforming policy for single-parent families to reduce child poverty

Date Added to Library: 
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 15:37
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 
Individual Author: 
Cancian, Maria
Meyer, Daniel R.
Reference Type: 
Published Date: 
February 2018
Published Date (Text): 
February 2018
The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences
Issue Number: 
Page Range: 

We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

Geographic Focus: 
Page Count: 

The SSRC is here to help you! Do you need more information on this record?

If you are unable to access the full-text of the article from the Public URL provided, please email our Librarians for assistance at

In addition to the information on this record provided by the SSRC, you may be able to use the following options to find an electronic copy from an online subscription service or your local library:

  • Worldcat to find an electronic copy from an online subscription service
  • Google Scholar to discover other full text options