Parents who participated in New York State’s Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers Initiative experienced higher wages, higher rates of employment, and higher rates of child support payments than non-participants, the final impact report shows.
In 2006, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance funded five pilot programs across the state to boost the job prospects—and child support payments—of low-income, noncustodial parents (most of whom are fathers). Seedco operated one of the successful pilot programs in New York City, serving more than 875 noncustodial parents over the three-year period.
The final impact report, prepared by the Urban Institute , found:
- Participants earned an average of $986 more than nonparticipants in the year after enrollment, a 22 percent increase in earnings.
- Participants were 19 percent more likely than the comparison group to be employed in the year after enrolling in the program.
- Participants paid an average of $504 more in child support than nonparticipants in the year after enrollment—a 38 percent increase.
Despite these encouraging results, budget cuts on the state level drastically reduced funding for the program, forcing Seedco to suspend its work with this extremely vulnerable population in early 2011.
But now, with a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families, Seedco is building on best practices developed during the pilot program and launching a Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood program. The program is helping low-income fathers in New York City enter and succeed in the workforce while developing closer relationships with their children.