August 5, 1983

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

More than 15 million children are living in families where the father is absent, and nearly one-third of those are living in poverty. More than half the families who should receive court-ordered child support to not receive full payment, thus depriving children of billions of dollars in support each year. In some cases, these unfortunate children are left without the necessities of life.

The American people willingly extend help to children in need, including those whose parents are failing to meet their responsibilities. However, it is our obligation to make every effort to place the financial responsibility where it rightly belongs -- on the parent who has been legally ordered to support his child.

For several years, the Federal government has worked with the States to recover child support payments from non-custodial parents. Collections for these children have improved dramatically in recent years, enabling thousands of families to leave the public assistance rolls. Nonetheless, we must work even harder to ensure that all American children are provided the financial support they deserve and to support enforcement personnel, judicial officials, and the legal community in alleviating this problem.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 56, has designated the month of August 1983 as National Child Support Enforcement Month and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that month.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of August 1983 as National Child Support Enforcement Month, and I call upon all government agencies and the people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 5th day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:43 a.m., August 8, 1983]