Evaluation of Child Access Demonstration Projects
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Evaluation of Child Access Demonstration Projects
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.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: ACF Hub Directors and CSE Regional Administrators
CSE Regional Program Managers