Journal Article

Through the Eyes of a Father: How PRWORA Affects Non-Resident Fathers and Their Children

Monica K. Miller

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 20, issue 1, pages 55-73
Published in print April 2006 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 2006 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
Through the Eyes of a Father: How PRWORA Affects Non-Resident Fathers and Their Children

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  • Marriage and the Family


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Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), new laws have been enacted that focus on reducing single-parent families’ reliance on state assistance by collecting child support from non-custodial parents (typically fathers). These laws pressure fathers to pay child support through stricter penalties for non-payment, but do not help fathers overcome barriers (eg, unstable employment) that prevent payment. In addition, PRWORA does not help fathers gain access to their children, which, according to research, promotes payment and child welfare. A literature review indicates that children who grow up without a father experience more psychosocial difficulty and diminished well-being compared to children who grow up in a two parent household. Thus, it is recommended that the federal government make greater efforts to assist fathers in their ability to provide emotional and developmental guidance for their children through father involvement programmes. Programmes such as mediation, parenting plans, joint custody, and parental education promote the well-being of the children and encourage non-residential parents to fulfill their financial commitments to their offspring, reducing the need for state aid.

Journal Article.  8076 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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