Coming Soon to Congress: Discussion on Child Support Clawback

By John Kelly


With a lame duck session approaching and little oxygen left for legislating in Washington, the Strengthening Families for Success Act introduced last week is largely a conversation starter for the 117th Congress set to be sworn in this January. But it’s a conversation of significance to the child welfare field, and more importantly for the families served by the broader social safety net. 

The bill, introduced by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.) – all Democrats – would ban the use of child support to pay for Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) payments or foster care costs. It would also reauthorize the Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood program through 2025. 

The bill has the support of the Child Welfare League of America, the Center for Law and Social Policy and Obama-era child support commissioner Vicky Turetsky.


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