Background: The article seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the New Jersey child support programs. The evaluation entailed determining whether the participants had a better knowledge of the child support enforcement system. Although child support staffs can work in the CSE system, they have little knowledge of improvements in the child support legislation and process because they lack training programs that are critical in improving their professional knowledge and abilities to work effectively.
Method: The NJCSI offers training programs that include the New Hire Training (NHT) and the experienced refresher training (ERT). The NHT program for new employees is a 10-day course while the ERT is a 5-day program for employees who have experience of more than one year. The eight learning modules used included modification and transfer, financial management, case initiation, interstate support, order establishment, obligation enforcement, case closure and location service. An online learning management system was used to complete the assessments (Huang, Blake, Edwards, Liu, Nolan, Rusen & Thompson, 2010). The participants were required to answer 50 multiple choice questions. The analytic approach entailed the use of descriptive statistics to determine participants’ knowledge of CSE system.
Results: On average, 55% of the questions were correct (Huang, Blake, Edwards, Liu, Nolan, Rusen & Thompson, 2010). Findings from the pre-training assessment indicate that experienced staff had more knowledge of CSE system compared to new staff. The percentage of correct answers increased to 77% after the training showing a significant improvement in knowledge.
Discussion: According to Carlson and England (2011), training programs play a critical role in enhancing enforcement performance. The data from the training programs indicates that most of the participants had little knowledge about the CSE system before the training. It is hard for child support staff to benefit from improved legislation and system since they have little professional knowledge of CSE. The outcome of the post-training assessment shows that training programs help to enhance abilities of child support staffs to work in the CSE system.
Carlson, M. J., & England, P. (2011). Social class and changing families in an unequal America. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press.
Huang, C. C., Blake, A., Edwards, R. L., Liu, C. W., Nolan, R. B., Rusen, B., & Thompson, D. (2010). Professional knowledge of child support staff: Evidence from the New Jersey child support training program. Evaluation review, 34(1), 3-18.
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