MDRC has developed and tested programs to boost the earnings of low-income noncustodial fathers, augment their capacity to provide child support, and increase their involvement with their children. In addition, MDRC has been a leader in the development and evaluation of strategies to improve the relationships of fathers with the mothers of their children — whether they are married to them or not.

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Issue Focus

Many programs and agencies collect data about their clients and service use but they may not have the time and resources to use those data to inform their decision making. This post shares some simple approaches for how to use data to improve programs.


More than 5 million American children under the age of 18, a disproportionate number of whom are Black or Latino, have had a parent incarcerated. This report reviews studies about promising programs that seek to maintain and build healthy relationships between parents who are incarcerated and their children.

Key Documents

Developed as part of MDRC’s Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration, the Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum is intended to help fathers more effectively fulfill their roles as parents, partners, and workers.


Designing Innovative Solutions for Programs Supported by the Administration for Children and Families

This report describes three sites in the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project, which applies tools from behavioral economics to improve the well-being of low-income individuals and families — the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.