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Evaluation of Child Access Demonstration Projects

DCL-97-11

Published: March 5, 1997
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Family Services & Referrals, Parenting Time/Access & Visitation
Types:
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)

TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS

RE: Evaluation of Child Access Demonstration Projects

Dear Colleague:

Enclosed is a recent Report to Congress submitted by the Secretary as required by Section 504 of the Family Support Act of 1988.

This report summarizes the results of eight demonstration projects in Idaho, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Arizona to develop, improve, or expand activities designed to increase the compliance with child access provisions of court orders.

The report indicates that when both parents attend mediation sessions parenting plans can be arrived at in 65% to 70% of cases with child access problems. There was some increase in both visitation and child support compliance in the experimental groups vis a vis the control groups. Relitigation on child access matters was low (5%) but unaffected by the demonstrations; the time to resolve disputes was also not affected.

Other interventions (e.g., parenting training, counseling) for more long term and problematic cases did not have a significant impact. It was difficult to assess the impact of demonstrations on the child's emotional adjustment to divorce and separation.

Sincerely,

David Gray Ross

Deputy Director

Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosure

cc: ACF Hub Directors and CSE Regional Administrators

CSE Regional Program Managers