The child support program has become a critical public program for children, serving 17 million children, representing nearly one in four children in the United States. Among social welfare programs, only the Medicaid program serves more children. It is also an important source of income for poor families, lifting a million people from poverty in 2008. This brief describes the role of child support in reducing poverty and shows how poor custodial families have become more reliant upon child support.
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