Behavioral Interventions

Many noncustodial parents do not pay their full child support obligations and therefore accumulate child support debt. At the same time, many children receiving child support assistance have little or no savings to help pay for their higher education. In an effort to increase child support payments, lower child support debt, and expand the future economic opportunities...

Behavioral science sheds light on human decision-making and behavior to better understand why people make the choices that they do. Designers of social services often expect that clients will understand their many choices and obligations, respond appropriately to notices, recognize the benefits of supportive services, and diligently follow through. When these...

Report

Using Behavioral Insights to Encourage People to Participate

August, 2015
Nadine Dechausay, Caitlin Anzelone, Leigh Reardon

Several low-cost behavioral messaging interventions boosted participant attendance at an optional informational meeting for Paycheck Plus, an earnings supplement program in New York City. This test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Report

Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Child Support Payments

July, 2015
Peter Baird, Leigh Reardon, Dan Cullinan, Drew McDermott, Patrick Landers

A low-cost behavioral intervention produced a modest increase in the number of parents in Franklin County, Ohio, who made at least one child support payment over four months. This test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Report

Using Behavioral Economics to Help Incarcerated Parents Apply for Child Support Order Modifications

September, 2014
Mary Farrell, Caitlin Anzelone, Dan Cullinan, Jessica Wille

A low-cost behavioral intervention increased by 11 percentage points the proportion of incarcerated noncustodial parents in Texas who applied for modifications to reduce the amount of their child support orders. This test is part of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families.

Report

Designing Innovative Solutions for Programs Supported by the Administration for Children and Families

April, 2014
Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Caitlin Anzelone, Nadine Dechausay, Saugato Datta, Alexandra Fiorillo, Louis Potok, Matthew Darling, John Balz

This report describes three sites in the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, which applies tools from behavioral economics to improve the well-being of low-income individuals and families — the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Many social programs are designed in such a way that individuals must make active decisions and go through a series of steps in order to benefit from them. They must decide which programs to apply to or participate in, complete forms, attend meetings, show proof of eligibility, and arrange travel and child care. Program designers often assume that individuals will...

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