Design, Sites, and Data Sources
The evaluation team selected six child support agencies through a competitive grant application process to participate in PJAC. They are located in Arizona; California; Michigan; Franklin County, Ohio; Stark County, Ohio; and Virginia.
The team is evaluating PJAC by using random assignment, the most rigorous evaluation method available. The PJAC evaluation includes three primary components:
Implementation study. The implementation study will describe the PJAC interventions, the services provided and how they operated, and the differences between PJAC and the business as usual child support enforcement process. The evaluation team will conduct interviews with child support staff, clients, and partners; conduct a staff survey; observe program activities; and analyze data from child support agencies’ management information systems.
Impact study. Using administrative data, the impact study will measure the short- and longer-term effects of PJAC on key outcomes, including child support payments, child support debt, employment and earnings, and civil and criminal justice outcomes.
- Benefit-cost study. The benefit-cost study will measure the monetary cost of the PJAC interventions relative to the cost of usual child support enforcement contempt practices. The study will then compare these costs with the monetary benefits generated by PJAC, which may include reduced court and contempt processing costs, increased child support payments, and increased employment and earnings.