(31) To strengthen families it is important to improve the upward economic mobility of the custodial and noncustodial parent wage-earners, as well as youth at risk of early parenthood or incarceration, by providing the skills and experience necessary to access jobs with family sustaining wages and benefits. In families in which all the members do not live together, this is important to enable the prompt and consistent payment of adequate child support.

(32) It is important and useful to foster local and regional economic development and job advancement for workers, especially young custodial and noncustodial parents, by funding local collaborations among business, education, and the community in the development of pathways for preparing disadvantaged citizens to meet the workforce needs of the local and regional economy.

(33) Employers benefit from working with and being supported by the local education, postsecondary, and workforce systems in identifying the academic and occupational skill sets needed to fill the skilled jobs in the changing economy. Local economic and community development is enhanced when residents have access to higher wage employment, thus increasing the tax base, fueling the economy, and contributing to greater family economic security.

(34) Public-private career pathways partnerships are an important tool for linking employers and workers with the workforce education services they need and for integrating community economic development and workforce education services. Transitional jobs programs can serve as the first step in a career pathway by giving unemployed individuals with multiple barriers to employment, valuable work experience and related services.

(35) Evaluations of State child support enforcement policies have shown that supportive child support enforcement policies, rather than coercive ones, have a positive impact on father involvement.

(36) The purpose of child support is to provide necessary income support for and increase the well-being of children living apart from a parent. To improve the ability of low-income noncustodial parents to provide long-term support and care for their children throughout their entire childhood, it is important that child support polices support parental efforts to pursue education and employment and to stay involved with their children.

(37) Responsible parenthood includes active participation in financial support and child-rearing, as well as the formation and maintenance of a positive, healthy, and nonviolent relationship between parent and child and a cooperative, healthy, and nonviolent relationship between parents.

(38) States should be encouraged to implement voluntary programs that provide support for responsible parenting, including by increasing the employment and financial security of parents, and the parental involvement of noncustodial parents.

(39) Promoting responsible parenthood saves the government money by reducing the need for public assistance, increasing the educational attainment of children, reducing juvenile delinquency and crime, reducing substance abuse, and lowering rates of unemployment.

(40) Programs to encourage responsible fatherhood or responsible motherhood should promote and provide support services for–

(A) fostering loving and healthy relationships between parents and children;

(B) increasing responsibility of noncustodial parents for the long-term care and financial well-being of their children;

(C) increasing employment of low-income, noncustodial parents and improving compliance with child support obligations; and

(D) reducing barriers to active 2-parent involvement and cooperative parenting.

(41) The promotion of marriage and responsible parenthood should not minimize the standing or parenting efforts of single parents or other caregivers, lessen the protection of children from abusive parents, or compromise the safety or health of the custodial or noncustodial parent, but should increase the chance that children will have 2 caring parents to help them grow up healthy and secure.

Note: South Carolina has a similar registry, which is under the state’s Department of Social Services.

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