Date of Conferral





Human Services


Tracey M. Phillips


The federal child support program was designed in the United States in 1975 to reduce the amount of public assistance that is needed by collecting child support from noncustodial fathers. Due to financial barriers, many noncustodial fathers face challenges in paying their child support consistently. Noncustodial fathers are referred to Fatherhood Programs when they are delinquent in paying their child support. While extensive research was conducted on the impact of child support delinquency on families, very little focus has been placed on the challenges that noncustodial fathers face when attempting to complete Fatherhood Programs. The purpose of this generic qualitative study was to understand the experiences of noncustodial fathers enrolled in the Georgia Fatherhood Program regarding their ability to complete the program. The conceptual framework for this study was social learning theory. The research question that guided this study was used to examine the experiences and perceptions of noncustodial fathers who participated in the Georgia Fatherhood Program regarding their ability to complete the program. In-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with ten noncustodial fathers between the ages of 24 and 56 who were previously enrolled in the program. Interviews were audio-recorded and manually transcribed. I used thematic analysis to identify themes. The findings showed that individuals who enroll in the Fatherhood Program realize the importance of meeting child support requirements and viewed the role of the fatherhood representative as critical to completing the program. This study may instigate social change by providing more insight into child support agencies regarding the importance of obtaining input from noncustodial fathers about their ability to pay child support.

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