Start Smart: Using Behavioral Strategies to Increase Initial Child Support Payments in Texas

Publication Date: April 1, 2019

This 16-page brief (PDF) summarizes an intervention that was tested by the Child Support Division of the Texas Office of the Attorney General under OCSE’s Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) demonstration program. The goal was to increase payments from employed noncustodial parents on new orders until income withholding order payments began.

Using behavioral principles, Texas designed an intervention that included a face-to-face meeting, new payment-focused materials, and reminder calls. The intervention increased payments in the first month after order establishment by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5% of the control group to 61.4% of the intervention group.

This brief is not an OCSE publication. MDRC produced this brief under contract to the State of Washington’s Division of Child Support in the Department of Social and Health Services, with funds from the BICS evaluation grant awarded by OCSE to the state. This brief is in the public domain. Permission to reproduce is not necessary.

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of OCSE, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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