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MEF Associates

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Start Smart: Using behavioral strategies to increase initial child support payments in Texas

Individual Author: 
Farrell, Mary
Morrison, Carly

The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established.

Evaluation of strategies to improve medical support enforcement in Washington state

Individual Author: 
Farrell, Mary

As part of their monthly child support obligations, the State of Washington orders most non-custodial parents (NCPs) to enroll their dependent children in a private medical insurance plan if the NCP has access to one at a reasonable cost. Enforcing these medical support orders (medical support enforcement) is among the most complicated task performed by Washington’s Division of Child Support (DCS). For most caseworkers—in Washington known as Support Enforcement Officers (SEOs)—medical enforcement is less emphasized than the collection of cash support.

Evaluation of the Ready to Work Partnership grant program: Findings from the implementation study of four training programs for long-term unemployed workers

Individual Author: 
Martinson, Karin
Copson, Elizabeth
Schneider, Glen
Elkin, Sam
Sarfo, Bright
Kappil, Tresa
Ma, Claire
Morrison, Carly
Nakas, Audra

A key challenge facing policymakers and program administrators is how to develop effective strategies to help Americans facing economic challenges, particularly the long-term unemployed, to succeed in the labor market. During the deep recession of 2008-2009, an unprecedented number of workers lost their jobs and many remained under- or unemployed, even as the economy recovered.

Understanding the intersection between TANF and Refugee Cash Assistance services: Findings from a survey of State Refugee Coordinators

Individual Author: 
Boland, Bethany
Gaffney, Angela

States exercise broad flexibility to structure and implement federally funded refugee cash assistance programs and accompanying services to help move refugees toward employment and self-sufficiency. Each state (except Wyoming, which has no refugee program) has a State Refugee Coordinator (SRC) who is responsible for overseeing the design, implementation, and coordination of refugee services in each state.

Building assets for fathers and families: Washington State

Individual Author: 
Glosser, Asaph

The presentation describes the Building Assets for Fathers and Families (BAFF) initiative as implemented in Washington, including program design and participant characteristics and outcomes. BAFF offers case management and asset building services to low-income non-custodial fathers to increase financial stability, asset ownership, and ability to meet child support obligations.

This presentation was given at the 2014 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

Experimental tests of efforts to improve child support collections in Washington state

Individual Author: 
Plotnick, Robert
Moore, Kathleen
Harper, Shannon

This presentation describes two evaluations of interventions designed to increased child support collections in Washington - one experimental design to test enforcement interventions and one nonexperimental analysis of compliance.  

This presentation was given at the 2013 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP): Pilot findings

Individual Author: 
Martinez, John
Farrell, Mary

This presentation describes findings from Phase 1 of the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project (TSDTP) in the three project sites: Muskegon County, MI; Los Angeles County, CA; and Ramsey County, MN.  

This presentation was given at the 2013 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-sufficiency (BIAS) project: Texas incarcerated non-custodial parents

Individual Author: 
Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn
Farrell, Mary

The presentation describes application of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) methodology -- applying behavioral economics to human services policies and programs - to improve child support program response by incarcerated non-custodial parents. The presenters described concrete changes made to the Texas Office of Attorney General's notification process (incl. design changes to the letter and application, more clear wording, and additional notices) and resulting differences in child support modification applications and awards.