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CHILD SUPPORT AWARENESS MONTH: A CALL FOR REFORM


As we recognize child support awareness this month, we must also recognize the need for reform. Currently, the policy’s around child support in California are outdated and severely inequitable. Beginning in 1975, federal law was put in place to "recover" funds from families who received welfare, which in California appeared within child welfare payments. In 2023, these policies, although slowly shifting, are still active. "Until January, California allowed only $50 of monthly child support to “pass through” to the families." Since then, Governor Gavin Newsom raised the amount "to $100 for a family with one child and $200 for those with two or more kids. Any payments above that, the state grabs. Sacramento keeps half for itself, sends 45% to Washington and the counties get 5%." [1] In other words, families that receive public assistance are only eligible for a portion of their child support. "The rest goes to the state, counties and the federal government." [2] Why does this matter? Poverty leads to poor physical, emotional and behavioral health for children. It shortens life expectancy and widens achievement gaps. [3] While these policies often fly under the radar (part of the reason why they are still in place today), there have been real efforts made by politicians, anti-poverty organizations, and various advocates pushing for effective reform. Stay informed and support legislation that aims to end these unfair policies. Click the links above to find out more.


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