Session: Policy for Separated Families Around the World (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

34 Policy for Separated Families Around the World

Thursday, January 13, 2022: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Independence BR F, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: International Social Work & Global Issues
Symposium Organizer:
Daniel Meyer, PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Irwin Garfinkel, PhD, Columbia University and Jennifer Burnszynski, US DHHS
In most countries, the proportion of children living with only one parent is increasing and these children are economically vulnerable. We bring together four novel papers focused on policies affecting these children in several different countries, describing some key policies and examining their effects. While there is some literature in this area, we know relatively little about whether policies are similar across countries, and even less about the effects of policies. In this symposium, the countries considered include not only the typically-studied European and Anglo countries, but also Chile, Colombia, and South Korea. Particular attention is paid to child support policies and policies governing physical custody (with whom children live after parental separation). The first paper (“Child Support Policy…�) sets the context by providing a broad overview of what is known about child support policy in various countries. The paper is based on a systematic literature search covering at least 40 countries and analyses of qualitative data provided by expert informants in 14 countries. The paper describes policy similarities and differences across countries. It pays special attention to guaranteed child support programs, given that the US National Academies have recently proposed this type of program as a part of their policy package to cut US child poverty in half. The next two papers examine the effects of child support policy in different countries, using quantitative methods. The second paper (“The Antipoverty Effectiveness…�) examines the effects of child support policy on poverty in Chile and Colombia. This longitudinal analysis shows that child support can act as a protective factor against future poverty, and it will examine whether these effects differ between these two countries. The third paper (“The Effects of the Korean Child Support Reform…�) examines whether recent policy changes in South Korea had an effect on child support received. Initial preliminary research had suggested positive effects; this study also has positive findings, but from a superior empirical strategy that increases our confidence these results are actually due to the reform rather than other factors. Child support is not the only policy directed at separating families. The fourth paper (“The Consequences of Post-Divorce …�) examines policies governing physical custody after parental separation (the extent to which shared care is encouraged, compared to primarily living with one parent). The research team has comparable data from Finland and Wisconsin and uses it to compare parental satisfaction with living arrangements and their relationship to economic well-being. The symposium is capped by two senior discussants. An academic with expertise in policy research will discuss the research issues raised. A policy leader in DHHS will address the policy issues raised by the papers. Both will discuss the paper’s relevance for changes in US policy. The audience not only learns about the ways several countries structure policy and the effects of these different policies for economically vulnerable families, but also is challenged to consider changes to US policy.
* noted as presenting author
Child Support Policy Around the World: Similar Problems, Different Approaches
Mia Hakovirta, PhD, University of Turku; Laura Cuesta, PhD, Rutgers University; Daniel Meyer, PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Mari Haapanen, PhD, University of Turku
The Antipoverty Effectiveness of Child Support in Chile and Colombia: A Longitudinal Analysis
Laura Cuesta, PhD, Rutgers University; Sarah Reynolds, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Effects of the Korean Child Support Reform: Evidence from a Recent Survey of Single Parents
Yeongmin Kim, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Yiyoon Chung, PhD, Konkuk University; Lisa Vogel, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Consequences of Post-Divorce Placement Arrangements in Finland and the US
Quentin Riser, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mari Haapanen, PhD, University of Turku; Judi Bartfeld, PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Lawrence Berger, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mia Hakovirta, PhD, University of Turku; Anneli Miettinen, Kela (Social Security Department in Finland)
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