You receive a letter in the mail telling you to show up in court for a child support hearing. What do you do? Many young fathers are confused and scared. They may want to do the right thing and support their child, but they’re not sure how, and are afraid to go to court.

But ignoring the letter and not showing up in court has serious, long-term consequences on a father’s life. Without the father’s input and proof of income, the judge may assign payments he can’t afford, increasing both the father’s and the children’s financial instability. Over 95% of teen parents who appear in family court alone do not understand what to do when they get to court, or what their rights are.

CUP collaborated with the Resilience Advocacy Project (RAP) and designers WeShouldDoItAll to create this English and Spanish fold-out poster. Directly aimed at teen fathers, the illustrated poster breaks down the child support process in concrete steps, highlighting fathers’ rights, and guiding them through their day in family court. The poster will better equip fathers to advocate for themselves within the system, to empower them with the tools to be active agents in their own and their children’s lives, and, ultimately, to obtain child support orders that they can understand and afford.

RAP launched Child Support?! at a know your rights workshop for teen fathers at a teen shelter in Brooklyn. RAP will also distribute the poster to fatherhood organizations throughout NYC.

Get your own copy here

Resources & Links

Resilience Advocacy Project works to empower youth to become leaders in the fight against poverty.

WeShouldDoItAll is a Brooklyn based graphic, interactive, and spatial multidisciplinary design studio.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, A Blade of Grass, the North Star Fund, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Mike Bobbit, Alan Farrell, Forrestdale Inc., the Foundry, Meghan DiPerna Gulia, Jameelah J. Hayes, LIFT, Marcos Malvido, Adolfo Mogilevich, Brooke Richie-Babbage, and the New York Community Trust for their support of the Resilience Advocacy Project’s Teen Fatherhood Initiative.


  • CUP
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Oscar Nuñez

  • RAP
  • Advocacy Partner
  • Elisa Kaplan
  • WeShouldDoItAll
  • Designers
  • Sarah Nelson Jackson
  • Jonathan Jackson