Single-Parent Families

Single-parent families are more likely than two-parent families to live in poverty. Not surprisingly, many of the participants in MDRC’s evaluations and demonstrations across policy areas are single parents and their families.

The Latest
Report

The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services demonstration used insights from behavioral science to develop interventions that could improve child support services. This report summarizes findings from 22 interventions that tested a range of design principles from behavioral science — for example, simplification, personalization, and reminders.

Brief

Much child support is collected through income withholding, but it takes time to establish automatic deductions from parents’ paychecks. In the interim, parents must make payments manually, and often do not. This brief describes an intervention in Colorado that increased payment amounts during these first months after order establishment.

Key Documents
Report

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project examines the 27,000 single parents who participated in the studied programs to understand the characteristics of those who successfully advanced in the labor market.

Infographic

As the first major effort to use a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in the United States, the BIAS project demonstrated the value of applying behavioral insights to improve the efficacy of human services programs.