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Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Agencies and Courts Project


Published: August 15, 2001


AUG 15, 2001


RE: Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Agencies and Courts Project

Dear Colleague:

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) are working together to improve communications between State and local child support agencies and courts. This project, funded by OCSE through a States’ Improvement Grant, seeks to test the interest in and feasibility of creating standards for using eXtensible Markup language (XML) to exchange information between and among courts and child support enforcement units.

As States are aware, most State IV-D agencies use conventional means such as e-mail, telephone, or fax transmittals to exchange information and documents with their court systems. This project proposes to demonstrate that the use of XML technology can effectively support limited data exchange between different State child support enforcement entities. The objectives of the project are to:

  • Develop XML documents to request and receive court information such as hearing dates, docket, and court orders;
  • Develop XML documents to initiate court actions such as establishment of a new child support order, modification of current order, or enforcement of an existing court order;
  • Establish general guidelines for electronic filing of these documents, recognizing that other groups are working on electronic filing standards; and
  • Generate and reach consensus on a set of standard CSE data elements.

The project has formed a workgroup of child support and court personnel from different States who have a high level of interest in this effort. Jurisdictions that are currently piloting use of XML technology have also been invited to participate. For the most part, meetings will be conducted through conference calls. The first workgroup conference call was August 9, 2001.

Workgroup participants will be asked to contribute documents, offer information on local practices, discuss data exchange processes, review related standards efforts and XML applications, and help formulate draft standards for data exchange using XML.

We are hoping that, as an outcome of this effort, one or more jurisdictions will be interested in volunteering to test the proposed standards and provide feedback to the group for incorporation into the workgroup materials.

We believe that this initiative can be a win-win situation for all involved by reducing the volume of paper work, enabling immediate responses to requests, and most important, standardizing information between State IV-D agencies and courts.


Frank Fuentes
Acting Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators

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