Listen: The Broken Child Support System

Family instability and complexity have grown dramatically in the United States in recent decades, trends that are concentrated among the most disadvantaged of our citizens. Child support is critical but our policies are ill-equipped to handle the reality of today's families. Drawing on more than 400 in-depth interviews with low-income noncustodial fathers, Princeton University professor Kathryn Edin argues that child support is the key institution to insuring resources flow from the noncustodial parent to the child. Child support must deliver as many paternal resources — both material and socioemotional — to children as possible through strengthening co-parenting relationships and father-child bonds.

This lecture is part of the A New Social Compact? series, sponsored by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Stanford Continuing Studies, the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, the Department of Sociology, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and the Program on Urban Studies.

Reference Information

Publisher: 

Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

Publication Date: 

April 2018