FY1997 Annual Report to Congress
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Appendix F- State Child Support Enforcement Agencies (This information is outdated and has been removed on 03/03/2009)
Appendix G - OCSE Organization Charts (not included)
22nd OCSE Annual Report
President Clinton and I have made improving child support enforcement and increasing child support collections a top priority. This 22nd Annual Report to Congress highlights the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program’s accomplishments and demonstrates the progress made during fiscal year 1997.
Together with our partners in the nation’s child support enforcement program, we have cracked down on nonpaying parents and strengthened the enforcement of child support dramatically since 1993. In fiscal year 1997, a record $13.4 billion was collected on behalf of children, an increase of 70 percent since fiscal year 1992. In addition, more than one million paternities were established, an increase of more than 100 percent since fiscal year 1992, largely attributable to paternities established through the voluntary in-hospital paternity programs.
Gains also were made in establishing support orders and in locating noncustodial parents who were not paying child support: 1.3 million orders were established and the income, assets, or employers of 6.4 million parents were located.
These numbers--a testimony to the commitment and dedication of individuals at the local, state, and federal levels of the CSE program--send a strong message that parental responsibility is not an option.
As important as this work is for millions of children, however, millions more are still being deprived of the help they need and deserve. The collection of child support is a crucial part of this Administration’s resolve to help families attain self-sufficiency.
On signing welfare reform legislation in 1996, President Clinton noted that “There is no area where we need more personal responsibility than child support.” When paid regularly, it provides millions of children and families the resources needed to improve their daily lives.
Donna E. Shalala
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 Financial Overview for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 2 Statistical Overview for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 3 Program Trends for FY 1992, 1996, and 1997
Table 4 Total Distributed Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 5 Distributed AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 6 Distributed AFDC-TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 7 Distributed Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 8 Distributed Non-AFDC-TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 9 Total Child Support Collections per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Federal and State Shares and Incentives
Table 10 Net Federal Share of AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 11 State Share of AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 12 Incentive Payments Estimates for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 13 Incentive Payments Actuals for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Payments to Families
Table 14 AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Payments to Families for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 15 Medical Support Payments to Families and Medicaid
Table 16 AFDC-TANF Collections Distributed as Payments to Families and Disregarded in AFDC-TANF Eligibility Determinations ($50 Pass-Through) for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Method of Collection
Table 17 Total Collections Made by the States by Method of Collection, FY 1997
Table 18 AFDC-TANF/FC Collections Made by the States by Method of Collection, FY 1997
Table 19 Non-AFDC-TANF Collections Made by the States by Method of Collection, FY 1997
Table 20 Total Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 21 Total Program Savings for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 22 Fees Received and Costs Recovered for Non-AFDC-TANF Cases for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 23 Total ADP Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 24 Total ADP Expenditures at Enhanced Funding Rate for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 25 Expenditures for Laboratory Tests for Paternity Establishment for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Caseload and Cases with Collections
Table 26 Average Annual CSE Caseload by AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 27 Average Annual CSE Caseload with Orders Established, FY 1997
Table 28 Average Number of CSE Cases in Which a Collection was Made on an Obligation By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Location, Paternity, Establishment, and Enforcement Services Required
Table 29 Average Number of Absent Parents Requiring Location to Establish an Obligation By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 30 Average Number of Absent Parents Requiring Location to Enforce or Modify an Obligation By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 31 Average Number of Children Requiring Paternity Determination By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 32 Average Number of Cases Requiring a Support Obligation be Established By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 33 Average Number of Cases Requiring a Support Obligation be Enforced or Modified By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 34 Absent Parents Located by AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 35 Absent Parents Located to Establish and Enforce or Modify an Order, FY 1997
Table 36 Federal Parent Locator Service Requests Processed with Known Social Security Numbers For Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 37 Federal Parent Locator Service Requests Processed with Unknown Social Security Numbers For Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 38 Total Number of Paternities Established for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 39 IV-D Paternities Established by AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 39A In-Hospital Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgements for Four Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 40 IV-D Paternity Standard Data for Five Consecutive Fiscal Year Orders Established and Enforced
Table 41 Number of Support Orders Established by AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 42 Total Number of Support Orders Established that Include Health Insurance, FY 1997
Table 43 Total Number of Support Orders Enforced or Modified By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 44 Total Number of Support Orders Enforced or Modified that Include Health Insurance, FY 1997
Table 45 Number of Families Removed from AFDC-TANF with Child Support Collections For Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 46 IV-A Cases in Which Parents Claim Good Cause for Refusing to Cooperate in Establishing Paternity and Securing Child Support and IV-A cases in which Good Cause Claims Were Found Valid, FY 1997
Table 47 Total Full Time Equivalent Staff Employed as of September 30, 1997
Table 48 Total Full Time Equivalent Staff Employed as of September 30, 1997 For Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 49 Total Salary and Fringe Benefits for Full Time Staff Employed as of September 30, 1997
Table 50 State Workload per Full-Time Equivalent Staff, FY 1997
Table 51 Costs and Staff Associated with the Central Office of Child Support Enforcement For Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 52 Total Cases with Voluntary Payments, FY 1997
Table 53 Total Amount of Voluntary Payments, FY 1997
Cases Opened and Closed
Table 54 Total Number of Cases Opened During the Year, FY 1997
Table 55 Total Number of Cases Opened for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 56 Total Number of Cases Closed During the Year FY, 1997
Table 57 Total Number of Cases Closed for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Federal Income Tax Refund Offset
Table 58 Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program, FY 1997
Table 59 Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
Table 60 IRS Full Collections, FY 1997
Accounts Receivable - Current Amounts
Table 61 Amount of Current Support Due, FY 1997
Table 62 Amount of Current Support Received, FY 1997
Accounts Receivable - Prior Years' Amounts
Table 63 Amount of Prior Years' Support Due, FY 1997
Table 64 Amount of Prior Years' Support Received, FY 1997
Accounts Receivable - This Year's Amounts
Table 65 Amount of Support Due for Orders Entered This Year, FY 1997
Table 66 Amount of Support Received for Orders Entered This Year, FY 1997
Accounts Receivable - Current Orders
Table 67 Number of Orders for Current Support Where a Collection was Due, FY 1997
Table 68 Number of Orders for Current Support Where a Collection was Received, FY 1997
Accounts Receivable - Prior Years' Orders
Table 69 Number of Orders for Prior Years' Support Where a Collection was Due, FY 1997
Table 70 Number of Orders for Prior Years' Support Where a Collection was Received, FY 1997
Accounts Receivable - Orders Entered During the Year
Table 71 Number of Orders Entered This Year Where a Collection was Due, FY 1997
Table 72 Number of Orders Entered This Year Where a Collection was Received, FY 1997
Table 73 Cases Initiated in Reporting States By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 74 Cases Initiated in Other States By AFDC-TANF/FC, Non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF/FC Arrears Only, FY 1997
Table 75 Cases in Which Collections Were Sent to Other States, FY 1997
Table 76 Cases in Which Collections Were Received from Other States, FY 1997
Table 77 Total Collections Made on Behalf of Other States, FY 1997
Table 78 Total Collections Received from Other States, FY 1997
The Child Support Enforcement Program
In 1975 Congress created the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program by enacting title IV-D of the Social Security Act for the purpose of establishing and enforcing the support obligations owed by noncustodial parents to their children.
The CSE Program is a joint undertaking involving Federal, State, and local cooperative efforts. Because the States and territories run their own CSE programs, there are 54 separate systems, each with is own unique laws and procedures.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the Federal agency that oversees administration of the CSE Program. Within DHHS, the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) provides Federal oversight of the Program.
OCSE sets program standards and policy, evaluates States’ performance in conducting their programs, and offers technical assistance and training to States. It conducts audits of State program activities and operates the Federal Parent Locator Service, National Training, Center, and National Resource Center.
The Federal Government shares in the cost of funding the CSE Program by contributing to States’ administrative costs and providing incentive payments to States. OCSE acts in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service in facilitating collection of overdue support from Federal income tax refunds.
State governments work directly with families through State child support enforcement agencies and/or their local counterparts. These agencies work closely with a variety of government entities in four areas: locating noncustodial parents; establishing paternity; establishing support orders; and collecting and distributing support.
CSE services are available automatically for families receiving assistance under the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. Current child support collected usually reimburses the State and Federal governments for TANF payments made to the family. In fiscal year 1997, a number of States opted (at their own expense) to pass through some portion of or all child support collected to the custodial TANF family. Child support services are also available to families not receiving TANF who apply for such services. Child support payments that are collected on behalf of nonTANF families are sent to the family. For these families, States must charge an application fee of up to $25 but may pay this fee from State funds.
State child support offices work with prosecuting attorneys and other law enforcement agencies to establish and enforce support orders. Each State CSE agency operates under a State plan approved by OCSE. State governments, and in some cases city, county, and/or local governments, participate in funding the program. In 1984,1988,1993, and 1996 Congress enacted significant amendments to the CSE program, providing the States with additional remedies to collect child support.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), signed by President Clinton into law on August 22, 1996, established the most sweeping revisions of the child support program to date. PRWORA provides States with new enforcement tools to ensure that children receive the support due them and that children are financially supported by both parents. The 1996 legislation also recognizes the importance of children’s access to their noncustodial parents by including grants to help States establish programs that support and facilitate noncustodial parents’ visitation with and access to their children. In addition, the law creates the National Directory of New Hires to help States with interstate enforcement efforts.
OCSE was one of a few Federal agencies selected to pilot the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) process, which reforms the way Federal agencies do business. With its State and other Federal partners, in fiscal year 1997 OCSE:
- continued to implement a national strategic plan that includes the CSE Program’s mission, vision, goals and objectives;
- collaborated on the development of fifteen outcome measures, including at least one for each goal and objective;
- recommended a performance-based incentive plan to Congress (proposed to be phased in beginning October 1, 1999) that would reward performance in five areas: establishment of paternities, establishment of support orders, collections on current support, collections on overdue support, and cost-effectiveness; and
- established workgroups of State and Federal representatives to revise data reporting forms so that information necessary to measure success in achieving strategic plan goals, calculate proposed incentives, and reduce reporting burdens was collected.
Fiscal Year 1997 Program Highlights
- Collected a record $13.4 billion, an increase of 70 percent since 1992.
- Collected a record $1 billion in delinquent child support by intercepting income tax refunds of nonpaying parents.
- Established paternity for more than one million children.
- Established 1.3 million new support orders.
- Located the income, assets, or employers of 6.4 million parents.
- Provided services to customers in over 19 million cases.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
Child Support Provisions
Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), each State must operate a child support enforcement program that meets Federal requirements in order to be eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grants. In addition, the law, which overhauled the nation’s welfare system, contains strong work requirements, a performance bonus to reward States for moving welfare recipients into jobs, State maintenance of effort requirements, comprehensive child support enforcement provisions, and support for families moving from welfare to work.
Through new hire reporting and other means, the new law expands information available to the CSE program to help locate noncustodial parents. This is not limited to information about the physical whereabouts of an individual but also includes information concerning the location and nature of assets owned by—or sources of income available to—an individual.
Under PRWORA, each State will maintain Case and Order Registries. These registries will be linked to a centralized Federal Case and Order Registry. All employers will be required to report information about newly hired employees to a State agency specifically designated to receive this information, and these reports will be shared with a Federal New Hire Registry. Additionally, all States will have access to information maintained by certain public and private entities, including financial institutions.
In addition to an expansion of the information resources available to the CSE Program, PRWORA includes a number of other improvements. States will be required to establish a single disbursement unit for the distribution of child support payments—providing employers with one address in each State for sending payments. States must make services available to residents of other States on the same basis as in-State residents and must handle interstate requests with the same priority as in-State cases. OCSE is required to produce new standardized interstate CSE support enforcement forms. States also must treat requests for services in cases referred by qualified foreign countries as a request from another State.
Also included: improvements to assist the States in collecting child support payments from employees of the Federal Government; a simplified process for periodic review and adjustment of child support orders; and an expansion of the use of credit bureau reporting.
An important part of the CSE program enhancements contained in PRWORA is the expansion of the administrative authority of State CSE agencies. All State CSE agencies will have the authority to: issue income withholding orders and subpoenas; order genetic testing in cases where paternity is in issue; intercept judgments, settlements, and lottery winnings; attach public and private retirement funds; and impose liens.
PRWORA also includes provisions to streamline the legal process for paternity establishment, making it easier and faster to establish paternities. Parties can be required to submit to genetic testing in contested paternity cases. The voluntary in-hospital paternity establishment program is expanded under PRWORA, as States are required to have a form incorporating uniform data elements for voluntary paternity acknowledgment. States also may enter into cooperative agreements with Indian tribes with established tribal court systems that can enter child support and paternity orders. Direct payments may be made to tribes with approved State child support plans.
In addition, States must publicize the availability of and encourage the use of voluntary paternity establishment processes. Individuals who fail to cooperate in establishing paternity, without a finding of good cause, will have their monthly case assistance reduced by at least 25 percent.
Other important provisions of the new law enable States to seize assets, revoke drivers and professional licenses, and require community service for past due support; and families that are no longer receiving welfare assistance to have priority in the distribution of monies collected toward child support arrears. Finally, PRWORA mandates that one percent of the Federal share of collections is to be appropriated for child support enforcement technical assistance, projects, research, and demonstrations.
Federal Parent Locator Service
FPLS is a computerized national network to provide Social Security Numbers, addresses, and employer and wage information to State and local CSE agencies to establish and enforce child support orders. The FPLS uses the most current information available from the IRS, SSA, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and State Employment Security Agencies.
During fiscal year 1997, the FPLS processed approximately 4.9 million requests for information from State and local CSE agencies.
FPLS is expanded under PRWORA to include the National New Hire Directory and also a Federal Case Registry of child support orders. The expanded system will be implemented in several phases. During the transition period, the current FPLS will operate in parallel with the expanded system and will use the NDNH as a new source of locate information. Upon full implementation, the expanded FPLS will provide States with the most comprehensive and current locate information available to improve child support enforcement and increase financial support to the nation’s children.
National New Hire Reporting
A key provision of PRWORA is the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), which will be the largest and most current database of newly hired employee information dedicated to locating noncustodial parents and enforcing child support orders. Since more than 30 percent of child support cases involve noncustodial parents who reside and/or work in a different State than their children, the creation of NDNH dramatically enhances a State’s ability to locate delinquent parents across State lines.
Under the system, all employers will report information about newly hired employees to a State Directory of New Hires (SDNH). The data will then be forwarded to the NDNH, where it will be matched against State child support information. Resulting matches will be reported to the appropriate State(s) for processing and enforcement. With 60 million new hire records expected annually, the NDNH will be a powerful new enforcement tool for States.
To ensure that States were prepared to transmit data by the October 1, 1997 deadline, OCSE provided timely, comprehensive technical assistance to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. As part of the assistance, OCSE provided the States with guides to implementation and data submission, as well as an information kit and companion video. The OCSE Webpage was also expanded to include a section on New Hire Reporting.
OCSE also undertook a major employer outreach initiative to complement and support State efforts, developing outreach materials targeted at the national employer community. In addition, OCSE representatives have coordinated and given presentations for employer organizations such as the National Alliance of Business, American Payroll Association, and American Society of Payroll Managers. A customer service telephone system information line staffed by OCSE representatives has also been established to answer employer questions on the program and/or to refer them to their State contact. During the last three months of fiscal year 1997, more than 9,000 calls were received. Most of the calls were from employers, who typically had questions about new hire reporting requirements or multistate employer issues.
OCSE has established a Paternity Establishment Workgroup to provide a national focal point for State, regional, and federal efforts to increase paternity establishment for children born to unmarried parents. This Workgroup pays particular attention to projects that:(1) support States’ efforts to implement effective in-hospital and other early paternity acknowledgment programs; (2) help achieve the paternity establishment goals of the National Strategic Plan; and (3) implement the paternity establishment provisions of PRWORA.
An important requirement of PRWORA is a provision to streamline the legal process for paternity establishment, making it easier and faster to establish paternity. States are required to have a form incorporating uniform data elements for voluntary paternity acknowledgment. The Paternity Establishment Workgroup made recommendations in fiscal year 1997 as to which data elements were necessary or desirable for the form. After the Workgroup completed this task, OCSE published the data elements in an Action Transmittal. In addition, work began on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to provide regulatory guidance on the new paternity provision, as required by the statute.
Members of the Paternity Establishment Workgroup also helped to develop, and participated in, three regional forums. These forums, well-attended by State staff from around the country, were held to raise issues and provide answers to questions related to the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
In addition, The Task Group on Public Education and Outreach (a sub group of the Paternity Establishment Workgroup) met for three days in June in Washington, DC and developed the production standards and criteria to be used in the procurement of a national video on paternity establishment for unwed parents. The video will explore the benefits, responsibilities, and legal consequences of signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form.
This national video is expected to help State IV-D agencies, hospitals, vital record offices, and other designated entities comply with the PRWORA requirement that unwed parents be advised orally of their rights and responsibilities prior to signing a voluntary acknowledgment.
The child support provisions of PRWORA require all States to adopt the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) by January 1, 1998. By the end of fiscal year 1997, 41 States and the District of Columbia had already implemented UIFSA. Four other States had enacted it into State law but were delaying its implementation.
UIFSA was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and approved by the American Bar Association in 1993 as a replacement for the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA), the model interstate child support enforcement law dating back to the 1950s. URESA required enacting States to reciprocate in the enforcement of duties of support, but, since it was a State law, States enacted various forms of it. This made the interstate enforcement of support difficult in many cases.
In contrast, UIFSA provides for uniform rules, procedures, and forms for interstate cases. To inform the child support community, in November, 1996 OCSE issued the July 18, 1996 version of UIFSA, which modified the 1992 version, with a memo from NCCUSL explaining changes. OCSE reissued this version in March, 1997 along with revised comments.
In fiscal year 1997, OCSE continued to work collaboratively with the States to facilitate the transition from URESA to UIFSA. To this end, in March, 1997 OCSE issued the notes from a pair of retreats at which Federal, State, and local interstate child support professionals developed recommended "best practices" for use by the States’ child support programs in implementing UIFSA.
The efforts of OCSE’s Interstate Forms Workgroup, composed of Federal, State, and local staff, resulted in the issuance of standard Federal forms compatible with UIFSA. In March, 1997 OCSE issued the Interstate Subpoena, the Notice of Interstate Lien, and the Order/Notice, as required by PRWORA. In May, 1997 the agency released the approved Federal standard interstate child support enforcement forms required by Federal regulations, along with instructions for each form.
In addition, Federal child support staff formed an Interstate Workgroup (separate from the Forms Workgroup) to compile and respond to State questions on implementing the new Interstate and UIFSA requirements.
Fiscal year 1997 efforts to provide assistance to States in developing statewide automated child support enforcement systems focused on two fronts: helping States meet the revised deadline for having a statewide automated system that met the functional requirements of the Family Support Act before October 1, 1997, as required by the statute; and helping them initiate the implementation of PRWORA’s automation requirements.
To address its first priority, OCSE conducted on-site visits to every State and territory in fiscal year 1997. These visits included 39 on-site reviews, providing technical assistance to States in various stages of developing an automated system that met the requirements of the Family Support Act of 1988. Nine full certification reviews, involving several days of on-site technical assistance, were conducted for States with child support automated systems that were being implemented statewide. An additional four reviews were conducted on systems that were being piloted in one or more counties. Twelve States received functional reviews to determine their readiness to pilot the system either on a statewide or county-by-county basis. Another 14 on-site visits were conducted by Central and Regional OCSE systems staff to provide a wide range of technical assistance requested by the States.
OCSE determined that such on-site visits were invaluable and strengthened its commitment to providing useful assistance to States. The visits had a two-fold value: they helped OCSE assess the readiness of States in meeting automation requirements; and States could focus on areas that needed enhancements or changes in order to meet certification requirements.
In fiscal year 1997 OCSE certified seven additional States as meeting the automation requirements of the 1988 Family Support Act. These States were: Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. This brought to 17 the total number of States whose automated systems had been certified by OCSE.
Congress required all States to meet the systems-related requirements of the Family Support Act of 1988 no later than October 1, 1997. State unable to meet this deadline would not be able to maintain an approved CSE state plan. Without an approved plan, a State cannot receive Federal funding for its child support program. Because of the importance of statewide, automated CSE systems to the success of the child support program, on September 17, 1997, Secretary Shalala wrote the Governors of all States whose CSE automated systems had not yet been certified pledging OCSE's technical assistance and urging the Governors to increase the priority of this activity.
By the end, however, of fiscal year 1997 (and before the October, 1997 deadline) another 18 States indicated that they had implemented their statewide child support systems, bringing to 35 the number of States that, by the end of fiscal year 1997, had statewide operational child support automated systems that met the functional requirements of the Family Support Act of 1988. (On-site visits to these States, though not made until early in fiscal year 1998, verified the claims.)
To meet the needs of its second priority, implementing the requirements of PRWORA, OCSE proactively formed several national workgroups, comprised of State, Federal, and local representatives to study the legislation in detail. The impact on automated systems was carefully monitored and analyzed to determine how automated systems would meet the statutory requirements. By the time the legislation had passed in August, 1996, OCSE was well prepared to assist States in implementing PRWORA.
In fiscal year 1997, OCSE provided States with a high-level analysis of the requirements of PRWORA. This analysis indicated that the new requirements redefined the way States would need to design, enhance, modify, and implement their automated systems. Not only, for example, would a State have to have a system to process data for its own enforcement needs, but there were now demands for State data at a national level for the ever-growing and very complex interstate caseload.
Under PRWORA, States would have to develop often entirely new databases or directories of information, as well as develop interfaces to transmit and receive information from other States and the national level databases. This would require that new batch processes and locate sources be developed and added to the current systems.
Additionally, to assist States with implementation of the automation provisions of PRWORA, OCSE:
- Issued OCSE Action Transmittal 96-10, which provided guidance on the funding for developing statewide automated systems;
- Developed draft regulations implementing provisions of PRWORA and convened a State/Federal workgroup to develop the new legislative functional requirements for automated CSE systems;
- Awarded a contract to assist in revising the OCSE Financial Distribution Test Deck to reflect PRWORA child support distribution scenarios over a fiscal quarter. This financial test deck generator is a software application that permits each State to select from the options provided in PRWORA to distribute child support payments. The test deck provides assistance to the States in the design and development, as well as testing, of PRWORA’s child support distribution requirements and options.
The rules for auditing State CSE programs changed under PRWORA. Audit requirements emphasize performance outcomes instead of processes. This means that the Federal Government’s oversight responsibilities balance with the States’ responsibilities for child support service delivery and fiscal accountability.
Under PRWORA, State child support agencies will be required to perform an annual review of their operations to assess whether they are meeting Federal requirements for providing child support services, including expedited processes. States will report performance indicators to demonstrate how they will meet proposed performance standards. States that meet or exceed the standards for each of the performance measures will become eligible for incentive payments.
In the change from a process-based system to a performance-based system, a PRWORA requirement stipulates that once every three years OCSE will assess the accuracy, completeness, reliability, and security of a State’s computer-processed data and of the reporting systems used to calculate its performance indicators. As part of the assessment, OCSE auditors will test the general and application controls and data produced by the State’s system to ensure that it is complete and reliable.
OCSE has the legislative requirement to evaluate the adequacy of the financial management of a State’s program. Specifically, OCSE Division of Audit is mandated to perform administrative cost audits and reviews to determine whether collections and disbursements of support payments are being carried out correctly and are fully accounted for.
The primary objective of the administrative cost audits is to determine whether:
- Costs claimed by the State for Federal reimbursement are allowable, allocable, and reasonable to the child support program; and
- The State has sufficient internal controls in operation to effectively ensure that costs claimed are valid and adequately supported.
These audits will help OCSE ensure that States bear their fair share of child support costs.
In fiscal year 1997, the OCSE Division of Audit issued final reports to five States based on revised Program Results/ Performance Measurements audits of their programs covering various audit periods from 1995 through 1996. These audits were conducted using the revised audit regulations, which were effective for audit periods beginning on or after December 23, 1994. The reports were advisory in nature and were not intended to reflect whether these States had an effective child support program in substantial compliance with title IV-D requirements for purposes of initiating sanctions.
OCSE continued to focus its audit process on evaluating the States’ financial and statistical data reporting systems and related areas, which will be used to measure progress in the future. OCSE issued 12 Reporting System Review reports in 1997, as well as four Limited Cost Review reports.
Additionally, OCSE Audit continued performing Undistributed Collections Reviews to evaluate the handling of these collections; determine the accuracy of undistributed collections amounts reported by States; and analyze the States’ efforts to reduce their undistributed collections balance. In fiscal year 1997, three States were issued final reports.
Deficiencies noted in four of the five Program Results and Performance Measurements audits were in the criteria of "Establishment of Paternity and Support," "Review and Adjustment of Support Orders," and "Medical Support." These States did not, in 75 percent of the cases reviewed, perform all requirements for establishing paternity and support. The States did not meet, in 75 percent of the cases reviewed, all requirements to periodically review and adjust, if necessary, current support orders. Finally, the States did not meet all requirements to ensure the inclusion of medical support in the support orders, where applicable, and/or obtain all medical support information required by Federal regulations.
Deficiencies noted in the reporting system reviews issued in fiscal year 1997 covered all three areas of the States’ reporting systems: collections, expenditures, and statistical. Five of the 10 collections systems reviewed were found to be reliable, along with 10 of the 11 expenditures systems and 5 of the 11 States’ statistical systems. Improvements were suggested for the reporting systems in all States reviewed. Problems included reporting interest income and other program income. We also found that some system definitions, as well as data reported, for the individual line items on each of the Federal reports were not consistent with Federal reporting requirements.
Deficiencies noted in the four Limited Cost Reviews completed in fiscal year 1997 included contractor costs incorrectly charged to the program. Also, one State did not report cost recoveries related to laboratory paternity determinations. Two States claimed bad debt losses related to nonsufficient fund checks and adjustments to IRS offsets. These unallowable claims resulted in recommended refunds to the Federal Government of $61,636 and $35,176. The same review also showed unreported interest income of $227,354.
Deficiencies in the three Undistributed Collections Reports issued in fiscal year 1997 included instances where not all collections received were included in States’ reports and returned payments were not researched timely for correct addresses of recipients.
In fiscal year 1997, the Division of Audit expanded its technical assistance activity in the area of Self-Assessment (State-level self-review/monitoring) by forming a workgroup composed of 14 Federal and 10 State representatives. The objectives of the workgroup were to: (1) define the criteria that States would be required to address in their annual reports to the Commissioner of OCSE; (2) establish a process or methodology to be used to review the criteria; and (3) develop a suggested format to be used to report the results of these reviews. To accomplish their objectives, the workgroup held two meetings and conferred on a biweekly basis through group conference calls and drafted three documents to meet the established objectives. All three documents were sent to each State IV-D director for review and comment.
Other Activities and Accomplishments
The Big 8 Initiative
This effort is targeted at those eight States that have the largest caseloads: California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Together, their caseloads and distributed collections make up nearly 50 percent of the national total.
The Big 8 partnership is designed as one of the key activities to achieve national goals and meet expectations that child support is an integral part of achieving real welfare reform. A central part of the effort is coordinating with senior officials and technical experts in headquarters, regional offices, and the field to take advantage of the rich body of experience available in all States. The partnership seeks to build models and new processes aimed toward high volume and high impact which can be replicated in all States to benefit children and families. Priority issues before the group are systems development, cases without orders, and creative planning to dramatically increase paternity establishment and collections.
OCSE’s law enforcement initiative is an effort to build partnerships among Federal, State, and local law enforcement and the child support enforcement community. Commissioned as a new program in April of 1997, the goal for fiscal year 1997 has been
to acquaint law enforcement executives with the PRWORA legislation and provide them with background on the history and philosophy of child support enforcement.
To achieve this, over 200 chiefs of police, elected sheriffs, and other criminal justice and child support officials were brought together for two days of interactive conversation and problem solving. As a result, partnerships have begun to be developed among OCSE, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the HHS Inspector General’s Office of Criminal Investigations. The law enforcement initiative also serves as liaison with the Department of Justice regarding the referral and prosecution of cases under the Child Support Recovery Act.
Technical Assistance and Training
Within OCSE, the Division of State and Local Assistance (DSLA) consists of the National Training Center, the Technical Assistance Branch, and the Special Initiatives Branch. DSLA works in partnership with the Training and Technical Assistance Workgroups, the regional offices, other OCSE components, national organizations such as the National Child Support Enforcement Association and Eastern Regional Interstate Enforcement Association, State CSE agencies, and private partners to provide leadership on special initiatives and to develop technical assistance and training strategies to address State needs.
In fiscal year 1997 the national Technical Assistance Workgroup and the regional offices worked together to develop a streamlined needs assessment instrument. Using the instrument, State technical assistance and training needs were identified and grouped into five broad areas: distribution and centralized collections; enforcement; interstate; paternity establishment; and systems and management. DSLA coordinated with other OCSE components and the regional offices to ensure that these areas were addressed. For example, numerous forums, conferences, and retreats were conducted, such as: a retreat on administrative enforcement and interstate liens; another on UIFSA and one-State interstate; several paternity establishment forums; a review and adjustment forum; a cooperation/good cause and domestic violence forum; and a series of workshops for partners on such topics as law enforcement, the courts, Head Start, Child Welfare, and TANF.
Other technical assistance, special initiatives, and training activities to assist states included:
- Development of a national electronic child support resource system (NECSRS). NECSRS will provide users with timely and easy access to the wealth of child support resources provided by Federal, State, local agencies, and tribal organizations. It will facilitate access to these resources via the OCSE Webpage with Internet links to other Federal, State, local, and tribal Websites;
- Development of distance learning and computer-based training which can be tailored for individual State needs. Through an Interagency Agreement with the Graduate School, U.S. Department of Agriculture, OCSE is developing six computer-based training (CBT) courses for use by the child support community. These are to be distributed in 1998. The topics include Orientation to Child Support, Locate, Paternity Establishment, Enforcement, Interstate Case Processing, and Distribution;
- Development of new special initiatives to promote the involvement of the judiciary and the financial industry in child support issues; and of medical support and interstate enforcement to improve services in these areas to children and families.
- Development of resource materials to further assist States. These included: CSE PRWORA resource lists; a compendium of State best practices; a paper on good cause cooperation and domestic violence; a summary of the one-state interstate retreat; interstate forms; direct withholding forms; a matrix on state license restrictions, suspensions, and revocations; an interstate course curriculum; and legislative implementation guides; and
- Development of trainer skills through training of trainer (TOT) course deliveries and OCSE’s Seventh National Training Conference, which was attended by 450 State and local CSE trainers and practitioners. The theme of this conference was strengthening agencies to strengthen families through partnerships, collaboration, and technology.
Four State/tribal cooperative agreements were funded under section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The purpose: to demonstrate new approaches between States and tribal entities aimed at improving the delivery of child support services on tribal lands. The approved applicants were North Dakota, Oklahoma, Washington, State, and Wisconsin.
North Dakota’s agreement focused on the development of tribal child support codes by the Northern Plains Tribal Judicial Training Institute with possible enactment by Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Spirit Lake, Standing Rock Sioux, and the Three Affiliated Tribes. Oklahoma and the Chickasaw tribe will establish an agreement to provide child support services on tribal lands. Washington State and the Northwest Tribal Judges Association will jointly develop a child support reference book for tribal judges. Wisconsin will develop a cooperative agreement with the Menominee Tribe for operation of a child support program on reservation lands.
As part of its outreach on PRWORA regulations development, OCSE conducted a two-hour consultation with advocates on the access and visitation provisions of the new law. The meeting, a nationwide video/audio conference held simultaneously in the central office and the regions,and via phone lines, drew more than 100 participants. Those who took part represented a broad array of child support advocacy organizations, as well as organizations focusing on domestic violence and judicial/legal matters related to child support.
Access and Visitation
Ten million dollars in access and visitation grants in response to applications were provided to all States and territories for fiscal year 1997. States are using the funds for
mediation, parental education, counseling, supervised and monitored visitation, development of parenting plans, neutral drop-off and pick-up sites, guidelines for visitation, and alternative custody arrangements.
OCSE and other ACF programs began to combine their efforts to bring awareness of child support services to eligible single-parent families participating in other ACF programs, such as Child Care and Head Start. Examples include CSE and Child Care staff making presentations at each others’ conferences and workshops, and a joint letter from the Commissioners of Child Support and Head Start to promote CSE services for Head Start single-parent families.
In fiscal year 1997 OCSE began an effort to expand its outreach to include faith-based organizations. Section 104 of PRWORA allows Federal, State, and local governments to partner with "charitable, religious, or private organizations" in providing services to persons in need. This presents a window of opportunity for OCSE to expand its outreach efforts to include faith-based organizations, which routinely deal with families in crisis. Working with charitable and faith-based organizations is expected to connect the child support community with a greater number of mothers and fathers and, it is hoped, motivate more parents to accept their financial and emotional responsibilities to their children.
- OCSE Webpage
OCSE continued in fiscal year 1997 to provide information over the Internet in a timely fashion. The addition of complete site maps, improved navigation tools, and general helps to users increased the usefulness of OCSE’s Webpage. These improvements made the Webpage a more effective and user-friendly means to finding OCSE resource material and researching child support related topics.
The Webpage includes a "feedback" page that enables individuals to provide comments or inquire about their cases. Through this function, OCSE received and responded to hundreds of public inquiries over the Internet. Information placed on the Internet during the year via OCSE’s Webpage included basic program information, newsletters and announcements, reports, policy documents, IV-D related information from outside the agency, and links to State child support Websites. Through its CD-ROM project, OCSE is able to provide program information to States that do not have Internet capability.
- Public Inquiries
In fiscal year 1997 OCSE’s public inquiries unit responded to nearly 4,500 written inquiries and more than 8,200 telephone calls. The public inquiries site on the Internet triggered an additional 1,200 messages with questions about child support laws and practices. As children are the beneficiaries of the child support program, on their behalf OCSE provides general and specific information and referrals, as appropriate, to custodial and noncustodial parents, advocates, Congressional staff, and members of special interest groups.
- National Resource Center
OCSE’s National Resource Center receives and responds to requests for child support publications and materials from a variety of sources. Requests by telephone and mail, for example, come from academic institutions, advocacy groups, child support enforcement offices, Congressional staff, consultants, courts, employers, Federal agencies, judges, lawyers, private citizens, and State and local government. During fiscal year 1997, more than 4,000 requests for publications were received by the Center. In response, nearly 55,000 publications were mailed, including more than 32,000 copies of the popular "Handbook on Child Support Enforcement," a how-to guide to help parents get the child support payments their children need and deserve.
- Hispanic Initiatives
During fiscal year 1997, OCSE’s Hispanic action items included: informing OCSE policymakers about Hispanics; designing OCSE information about child support enforcement for Hispanic families; and partnering with national and community-based Latino organizations. OCSE has established in-house Hispanic expertise for outreach and communications, as well as the use of culturally effective media and methods.
OCSE materials are not just translated but adapted culturally for Latinos. OCSE publishes its FACT Sheet and other information in Spanish and makes program information available in Spanish on its Webpage. In addition, the OCSE Handbook was adapted into Spanish for Latino families as "Mi Familia, Nuestra Vida." Distributed to OCSE’s national network, Migrant Head Start grantees, and to all States, it is available by request from the OCSE National Resource Center. "Mi Familia, Nuestra Vida" also is available for reading and downloading on the OCSE Webpage.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys
OCSE continued to be heavily invested in customer service activities during fiscal year 1997. A joint Federal/State/local child support customer service workgroup oversaw the completion of a project that determined it would be feasible to develop a national customer service satisfaction survey. In addition, a customer satisfaction survey instrument developed by the workgroup for States to use on a voluntary basis in determining the satisfaction of customers with their child support program services was tested in a series of noncustodial focus groups. The focus group participants gave accounts of their experiences with the child support program and made recommendations to make the instrument more relevant and useful for noncustodial parents.
- Child Support Report
OCSE’s national monthly newsletter provides useful and timely information about the program to those who work in the field and to other interested individuals and organizations. By keeping abreast of national CSE issues and learning about what other States are doing, caseworkers, managers, and agency directors in the States can improve their own practices. PRWORA was a focus of coverage in fiscal year 1997. Articles included: "Reform: for the Sake of the Children;" "A Brief Look at the Welfare Reform Bill;" "Welfare Reform: A State Perspective" (in two parts); "Meeting the New Hire Deadline;" and "Incentive Funding Recommendations."
- Children Today
OCSE’s Division of Consumer Services produced a special child support enforcement issue of ACF’s publication, Children Today.
During fiscal year 1997, OCSE awarded 24 research and demonstration grants to 18 States. The total amount awarded for all the grants was $1.4 million. As indicated below, these projects, which are envisioned as 3-year demonstrations, encompass a wide array of child support activities.
- Access and Visitation (California): Providing noncustodial parents with employment and access and visitation assistance through a comprehensive mix of services and motivation to become responsible parents;
- Agencies Demonstration (Alaska): A statewide project to use modern technology to periodically collect income information from various sources to be used for reviewing and adjusting child support orders;
- Assurance Program (Minnesota): Design and test a child support assurance program model that is adapted to the post-PWORA world;
- Child Welfare Programs (South Carolina): Demonstrate the use of location services available to support enforcement agencies to facilitate family preservation through the placement of children currently in foster care with a biological parent;
- Children First (Puerto Rico): Waive the application and fee for nonTANF cases so that cases can receive expedited follow-up services as needed;
- (Massachusetts): Test different approaches to handling TANF/IV-D cases with a history of domestic violence;
- (Missouri): Increase knowledge about domestic violence, increase the safety of victims of domestic violence and increase collections on behalf of these families;
- (New York): Assess the magnitude of cooperation compliance issues, develop and implement a model cooperation compliance process, and test variations to the cooperation compliance model in selected jurisdictions;
- (Maryland): Assist noncustodial parents who need social, employment, or access and visitation services with a comprehensive mix of services and motivation to assist them to be responsible parents;
- (Washington State): Increase the incomes, child support compliance, and fatherhood involvement of low or no income custodial parents;
Head Start and Child Care
- (Alaska): to develop and implement models of collaboration between Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, and Head Start programs at State and local levels;
- (Connecticut): Develop and implement models of collaboration between Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, and Head Start programs at State and local levels;
- (Illinois): Develop and implement models of collaboration between Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, and Head Start programs at State and local levels;
- (Maryland): Develop and implement models of collaboration between Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, and Head Start programs at State and local levels;
- (Minnesota): Develop and implement models of collaboration between Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, and Head Start programs at State and local levels;
- (Missouri): Develop and implement models of collaboration between Child Support Enforcement, Child Care, and Head Start programs at State and local levels;
- Interviewing and Client Referral Services (Minnesota): Demonstrate and evaluate a coordinated IV-A/IV-D process to increase the cooperation of custodial parents who receive public assistance in establishing paternity and obtaining child support payments;
- (Missouri): Assist noncustodial parents who need social, employment, or access and visitation services with a comprehensive mix of services and motivation to assist them to be responsible parents;
- (Wisconsin): Assist noncustodial parents who need social, employment, or access and visitation services with a comprehensive mix of services and motivation to assist them to be responsible parents;
- (New Hampshire): Assist noncustodial parents who need social, employment, or access and visitation services with a comprehensive mix of services and motivation to assist them to be responsible parents;
- (Colorado): Assist noncustodial parents who need social, employment, or access and visitation services with a comprehensive mix of services and motivation to assist them to be responsible parents;
Review and Adjust
- (Maine): Demonstrate the effectiveness of an on-going automated interface with the courts in increasing the number of modifications of child support orders through automated review and adjustment;
- (Oklahoma): Inform parents about new laws regarding requesting review and adjustment through an intense public information campaign; and
- (Vermont): Test streamlined methods for reviewing and adjusting child support orders by concentrating on an automated approach.
1997 Program Results
*The total IV-D Child Support caseload is an average of the quarterly case counts of all noncustodial parents who are now or may eventually be obligated under law for the support of one or more dependent children. Cases where families were referred to the Child Support agency because they are receiving AFDC/TANF and title IV-E Foster Care are classified as AFDC/TANF/FC cases; cases where the custodial parents applied for child support enforcement services or are receiving Medicaid but not AFDC/TANF services are called non-AFDC/TANF cases. Nationally, the Child Support Enforcement program had 19.0 million cases in FY 1997, a decrease of more than one percent over fiscal year 1996 and an increase of 11 percent since FY 1993. This decrease in total caseload is attributed to the declining number of AFDC/TANF/AFDC Arrears cases resulting from the initiatives of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. During the five-year period from 1993 to 1997, the non-AFDC/TANF portion of the caseload increased by 32 percent, while the AFDC/TANF and AFDC/TANF Arrears caseload has decreased by 5 percent.
Some States voluntarily report in-hospital information to OCSE. In-hospital numbers include an unknown number of acknowledgments for children in the IV-D caseload and children outside the IV-D caseload.
*The number of children for whom paternity has been established has grown steadily over the past five years. The combined total of in-hospital paternities acknowledged and IV-D paternities established was 1,290,055 for fiscal year 1997. In fiscal year 1993, 554,289 IV-D paternities were established by the State Child Support Enforcement agencies. By 1997, this had increased by 45 percent to 803,504 paternities established. The total number of in-hospital paternities acknowledgments for fiscal year 1997 was 486,551. In-hospital paternities are reported on a voluntary basis. In FY 1997, 40 States reported in-hospital information.
*The legal establishment of an order to pay child support is a prerequisite to collecting child support. In FY 1997, the Child Support Enforcement program established 1,250,490 support orders. The number of child support orders established have increased by more than 22 percent over the last five years.
States report the number of cases remaining open on the last day of each quarter that have support orders established. Of the 19.1 million cases in the child support caseload in FY 1997, 58 percent had support orders (53.8% of AFDC/TANF cases and 61.0% of Non-AFDC/TANF cases had orders).
States report the number of cases in which a collection was made during the second month of each quarter. In FY 1997 there were 4.2 million cases with a collection in the Child Support Enforcement program. This is an increase of 7 percent over FY 1996. Paying cases accounted for 22 percent of the Child Support Enforcement caseload; this figure has risen since FY 1993 when the figure was 18.3 percent.
*Total child support collections are the amounts collected by the program and distributed during the year on behalf of families receiving benefits from the AFDC/TANF, Title IV-E foster care and Medicaid programs and non-AFDC/TANF families who have applied for child support services. In FY 1997, collections reached a record high of $13.3 billion, an 11 percent increase over FY 1996 and an increase of over 49 percent since FY 1993. For FY 1997, Non-AFDC/TANF collections accounted for almost 79 percent of the total amount collected.
*AFDC/TANF collections, including title IV-E Foster Care collections, amounted to $2.8 billion in FY 1997. This is a decrease of .4 percent over the previous year and 18 percent since FY 1993. This decrease can be attributed to the decrease in the AFDC/TANF caseload in FY 1997.
*The Federal and State governments retain portions of AFDC/TANF child support collections as reimbursement for (title IV-A) AFDC/TANF payments to families. In FY 1997, States kept almost $1.2 billion as their share of AFDC/TANF payment reimbursements and received an additional $412 million in collection incentives from the Federal share of AFDC/TANF collections. The Federal share of the $2.8 billion collected in AFDC/TANF cases amounted to slightly more than $1.0 million. In FY 1997, AFDC/TANF families received over $157 million in support collections through the Child Support Enforcement program.
*Non-AFDC/TANF distributed collections are child support payments made on behalf of and distributed to families who have applied for Child Support Enforcement services. In FY 1997 non-AFDC/TANF collections rose to $10.5 billion, an increase of almost 15 percent since the previous year and a 62 percent increase since FY 1993.
*Collections made on behalf of families in other States totaled a record $983 million in FY 1997, an increase of 10 percent. In five years, interstate collections rose by 36 percent: these increases may reflect better communications and cooperation among the States. A State's distributed collections amount does not include collections made on behalf of other States. Hence, total distributed collections do not reflect the efforts put forth by one State to collect for another. In some cases, a substantial amount of child support is collected by one State on behalf of other States.
*There are various ways in which child support payments are made. Wage withholding, withholding of unemployment compensation, and State income tax refund offsets are all powerful enforcement techniques. However, wage withholding is by far the most effective, totaling 56 percent of all collections in FY 1997. Federal and State income tax refund offsets contributed 8 percent and 1 percent, respectively; and the withholding of unemployment compensation accounted for about 2 percent of total collections. The remaining 34 percent of collections was obtained from parents who sent their child support payments directly to the State Child Support Enforcement agency, payments received through other enforcement techniques, or collections received from other States.
*Accounts receivable data present the total dollar amount of child support payments due and received by IV-D agencies. Information reported for FY 1997 indicates that $17.6 billion in current support and $44.6 billion in prior years support was due. Almost $9.5 billion or 54 percent of the current support due was collected. Of prior year’s support due, only $3.2 billion or 7 percent was collected. Comparisons of States' accounts receivable data are complicated because States count arrearages differently based on State laws and practices. For example, some States have statutes of limitations governing collection of debt, some assess interest on arrearages which becomes part of the amount due, and some have policies for writing off bad debts.
*Total expenditures are the net amounts of combined Federal and State funds expended on the operation of the CSE program. The amounts reported are reduced by the amount of program income (fees and costs recovered in excess of fees, interest earned, and other program income received) received by the States. Total expenditures were $3.4 billion in FY 1997, an increase of about 13 percent over FY 1996. Of this $3.4 billion, $2.3 billion was the Federal share and $1.1 billion was the States' share. The increases in program costs over the last five years are heavily impacted by the costs of developing and implementing automated systems, as required by the Family Support Act of 1988.
*ADP expenditures are for the planning, development, and implementation of automated child support systems and for the acquisition of operational hardware utilized in these systems. ADP expenditures at the enhanced rate was $245.1 million in FY 1997 compared to $163 million in FY 1996.
*Nationally, almost $4.00 in child support payments are collected for every $1.00 spent to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. During the five-year period FY 1993 to FY 1997, the ratio of total child support collections to total administrative costs has fluctuated between $3.98 to $3.59 and remains in the vicinity of $4.00. This variation in cost effectiveness is largely due to the increases in expenditures for automated systems, which should have a long-term beneficial impact on future program performance.
FY 97 BOX SCORES BY REGIONS AS OF: 01/04/99
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,092||-1.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||403,295||3.0|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||5,823||1.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||851,323||-6.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||5,365||-3.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||825,310||-0.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||8,532||2.2|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||1,408,687||-12.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||8,177||0.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||1,715,164||-8.1|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||10,930||-6.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||2,331,249||-12.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||4,597||2.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||591,503||-5.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,536||-26.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||349,039||-14.0|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,719||5.5|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||243,112||-4.7|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,691||-6.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||390,500||-2.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||52,462||-2.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||9,109,182||-8.6|
Florida provided late updated data that was incorporated into the boxscores causing nationwide totals to be slightly different between the boxscores and tables for some statistics.
FY 97 Box Scores by State
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||740||-0.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||116,008||-4.5|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||238||13.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||32,911||2.7|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,102||1.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||132,732||-0.1|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||633||3.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||64,057||-2.7|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||6,436||0.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||1,524,780||-9.0|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||653||3.5|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||108,627||0.4|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||506||-1.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||142,696||1.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||215||-2.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||39,969||-9.1|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||200||17.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||25,890||-0.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,796||11.2|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||360,857||-17.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,167||1.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||219,426||-8.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||55||-5.2|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||6,199||0.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||201||-2.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||21,249||-1.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||160||-30.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||34,509||-11.4|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,665||3.5|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||405,343||-8.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||634||-13.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||60,844||-75.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||530||3.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||98,135||0.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||450||-24.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||54,447||-8.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||844||-0.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||117,882||-11.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||874||6.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||113,865||-21.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||241||-4.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||45,007||-0.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,013||-12.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||192,566||2.7|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||848||0.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||144,066||7.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,242||-5.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||1,193,179||0.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,482||12.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||116,447||-2.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||677||0.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||92,735||-8.4|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,166||-39.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||162,997||-24.4|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||199||6.4|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||17,681||-10.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||390||-1.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||33,460||0.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||383||11.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||30,204||-4.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||228||-1.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||19,483||-1.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,211||4.2|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||221,570||-6.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||230||0.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||24,088||-33.0|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,866||1.8|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||558,050||-7.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,413||4.8|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||253,352||-16.0|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||104||-16.8|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||23,533||1.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||3,884||-13.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||450,965||0.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||457||9.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||48,758||-1.2|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||554||-17.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||104,509||-8.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,543||-0.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||398,579||1.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||708||-7.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||67,880||7.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||168||3.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||39,660||-3.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||234||-42.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||50,120||-23.1|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||81||-1.2|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||17,104||-2.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||661||0.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||198,307||-7.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||2,403||0.6|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||340,735||3.7|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||500||5.0|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||59,727||-15.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||101||-7.3|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||12,383||15.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||38||2.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||3,823||-10.6|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||885||-4.8|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||133,795||-5.8|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,739||-0.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||218,571||1.3|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||509||3.7|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||34,511||-4.4|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||1,023||-6.9|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||104,471||-53.9|
|Full Time Equiv. Staff||182||41.1|
|* TANF/FC Arrears||16,440||6.7|
APPENDIX C: State Data Tables
The following tables include program and financial data submitted to OCSE by the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
In tables where U.S. totals are shown, the totals do not always reflect the same number of reporting States and jurisdictions, as not all States have reported all data. Comparisons of U.S. totals for different fiscal years should be evaluated with this in mind.
Data shown for prior years may differ from previously published data due to the incorporation of revised data submittals from some States. In addition, deviations in State data between fiscal years may be the result of variance in the number of counties reporting to a State from quarter to quarter or from the use of estimated data. Data are shown as they were reported by the States as of January 4, 1999. If a State reported zero for a data element, it is shown as zero in the tables. If a State was unable to provide data, it is indicated by "NA." Percent changes are positive unless specifically shown as negative. In some tables, an asterisk (*) appears when data were submitted but were found to be inconsistent with other reported data. Some figures in the text and in the graphs of this report use rounded numbers; in some instances these numbers do not add due to rounding. Florida provided late updated data that was incorporated into the boxscores causing nationwide totals to be slightly different between the boxscores and tables for some statistics.
Table 46: IV-A Cases in Which Parents Claim Good Cause for Refusing to Cooperate in Establishing Paternity and Securing Child Support and IV-A cases in which Good Cause Claims Were Found Valid, FY 1997
Glossary of Financial and Statistical Terms
Total Distributed Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(A+B+C))
Total amount of collections distributed during the year on behalf of both AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and non-AFDC families. Total collections can be calculated as the sum of AFDC/Foster Care and non-AFDC collections as defined below.
Distributed AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(A+C))
The portion of total collections received on behalf of families receiving assistance under the AFDC program or children placed in foster care facilities. These collections are distributed by the State during the year either to reimburse itself or the Federal Government or directly to the families and facilities involved.
Distributed Non-AFDC-TANF Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(B))
The portion of total collections received on behalf of families not receiving assistance under the AFDC/Foster Care programs and distributed to those families during the year.
Total Collections Per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(A+B+C) Divided by Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
The amount of total IV-D collections made for every dollar expended to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. Refer to definitions of total IV-D collections and total IV-D administrative expenditures.
AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections Per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(A+C) Divided by Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
The amount of IV-D AFDC/FC child support collections made for every dollar expended to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. Refer to definitions of IV-D AFDC/FC collections and total IV-D administrative expenditures.
Non-AFDC-TANF Collections Per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(B) Divided by Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
The amount of IV-D non-AFDC collections made for every dollar expended to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. Refer to definitions of IV-D non-AFDC collections and total IV-D administrative expenditures.
Net Federal Share of AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 18(A+C))
The portion of AFDC/Foster Care collections that is kept by the Federal Government as a reimbursement of its share of past assistance payments under the AFDC program. The amount reported has been reduced by incentive payments made to the States. The Federal share of collections is used to reduce Federal grants awarded to State agencies under the AFDC program.
State Share of AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 14(A+C) - Line 16(A+C))
The portion of AFDC collections that is kept by the States as a reimbursement of their shares of past assistance payments under the AFDC program.
Incentive Payments (Form OCSE-34, Line 17(A+B))
The portion of the gross Federal share of collections that is retained by the State in addition to its share of AFDC/Foster Care collections. This amount is estimated by OCSE prior to the start of the fiscal year and is reported by the State on a quarterly basis. The OCSE estimate is based on the State's estimated AFDC and non-AFDC collections in relation to Total Expenditures and is calculated pursuant to a methodology found in section 458 of the Social Security Act. Actual incentive amounts are computed after the end of the fiscal year and appropriate adjustments are made in State grant awards.
AFDC-TANF/Foster Care Payment to Families (Form OCSE-34, Line 10(A) + 11(A+C))
Total amount of collections distributed by the State during the year to AFDC families and Foster Care maintenance facilities under the distribution procedures of the Social Security Act. This includes the "AFDC disregard" payments as defined below.
AFDC-TANF Collections Distributed as Payments to Families and Disregarded in AFDC Eligibility (Form OCSE-34, Line 10(A))
Portion of collections distributed by the State during the year to AFDC families that is disregarded in determining families' continuing eligibility for assistance payments
Collections from Federal Income Tax Offset (Form OCSE-34, Line 2(A+B+C))
Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from the offset of child support payments from individuals' Federal income tax refunds through the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Income Tax Refund Offset Program.
Collections from State Income Tax Offset (Form OCSE-34, Line 3(A+B+C))
Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from the offset of child support payments from individuals' State income tax refunds. (Applicable only to States that impose a personal income tax.)
Collections from Unemployment Compensation (Form OCSE-34, Line 4(A+B+C))
Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from the offset of individuals' Unemployment Compensation Insurance payments to satisfy past-due child support.
Collections from Wage Withholding (Form OCSE-34, Line 5(A+B+C))
Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from withholding child support payments from individuals' wages, salaries, and other income.
Total Program Savings (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A) - OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
Total program savings is defined as the difference between amounts retained from AFDC child support collections as reimbursements of AFDC assistance payments and the net amount of administrative expenditures eligible for Federal funding.
Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
Total amount of expenditures eligible for Federal funding that is claimed by the States during the year for the administration of the Child Support Enforcement program. Includes all amounts claimed during the year, whether expended during the current or a previous fiscal year. The amounts being reported have been reduced by the amount of program income (fees and costs recovered in excess of fees and interest earned and other program income received) by the States.
Fees Received and Costs Recovered for Non-AFDC-TANF Cases (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 2(A+B))
The amount of fees collected by the States for the processing of non-AFDC-TANF cases plus the amount of additional processing costs recovered by the States in excess of the fees charged. This amount decreases the amount of States' expenditures eligible for Federal funding.
ADP Expenditures at the Enhanced Funding Rate (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 5(A+B) + Line 6(A+B))
The portion of total administrative expenditures claimed by the State at the enhanced funding rate (in accordance with the provisions of an approved Advanced Planning Document) for the planning, development, and implementation of an automated child support system and for the acquisition of operational hardware utilized in that system.
Expenditures for Laboratory Tests for Paternity Establishment (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 8(A+B))
The amount expended for laboratory costs associated with the process of determining paternity.
Average Annual Child Support Enforcement Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(A+B+C) + Line 5(A+B+C))
The total number of child support enforcement cases open on the last day of each quarter. A child support enforcement case is defined as every absent parent who is now or may eventually be obligated under law for the support of one or more dependent children. An absent parent is counted once for each family which has a dependent child he or she is now or may eventually be obligated to support.
Average Annual CSE AFDC-TANF and Foster Care Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(A) + Line 5(A))
The total number of child support enforcement AFDC-TANF and Foster Care cases open on the last day of each quarter. An AFDC-TANF case is one in which the children to be supported are currently receiving money payments under the provisions of titles IV-A and IV-E of the Social Security Act and in which an assignment of support rights has been made by the caretaker relative to the State.
Average Annual CSE Non-AFDC-TANF Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(B) + Line 5(B))
The total number of child support enforcement non-AFDC-TANF cases open on the last day of each quarter. A non-AFDC-TANF case is one in which the children to be supported are not currently receiving a IV-A payment and in which the caretaker relative has made written application for child support enforcement non-AFDC-TANF services. Also included are cases which are receiving services as former AFDC-TANF recipients whose collections are classified as non-AFDC-TANF collections, as well as Medicaid only cases.
Average Annual CSE AFDC and Foster Care Arrears Only Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(C) + Line 5(C))
The total number of child support enforcement AFDC-TANF and Foster Care arrears only cases open on the last day of each quarter. An AFDC-TANF and Foster Care arrears only case is one in which the children to be supported are former recipients of IV-A or IV-E payments and in which the absent parent is now delinquent in his or her reimbursement of these payments to the government.
Average Annual Child Support Caseload with Orders Established (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(A+B+C))
The total number of child support enforcement cases open on the last day of each quarter with orders established.
Average Number of CSE Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(A+B+C))
The average number of child support enforcement cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter. Also includes cases in which a collection was received as a result of the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program. If a case receives both an intercept collection and a regular collection during the second month of the quarter, the case is counted once.
Average Number of CSE AFDC-TANF and Foster Care Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(A))
The average number of child support enforcement AFDC and Foster Care cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter. (AFDC and Foster Care arrears only cases are not included in this category.)
Average Number of CSE Non-AFDC-TANF Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(B))
The average number of child support enforcement non-AFDC-TANF cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter.
Average Number of CSE AFDC and Foster Care Arrears Only Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(C))
The average number of AFDC-TANF and Foster Care arrears only cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter.
Services Required (Form OCSE-156, Lines 6 through 10(A, B, and C)
The Family Support Act of 1988 requires that States report data with respect to the need and receipt of the following services: paternity determination, location to establish a child support obligation, establishment of a child support obligation, and location to enforce or modify an existing child support obligation. The Act further requires that this information should include the number of cases, by type, in the child support enforcement agency caseload which need and receive the designated services. States report the number of IV-D cases open on the last day of the quarter which need the specific service.
Services Provided (Form OCSE-156, Lines 11 through 17(A, B, and C)
States maintained and report data on services provided including paternity and support order establishment, as well as information on why absent parents needed to be located, i.e., to enforce, modify or establish a child support obligation.
Total Number of Locations Made (Form OCSE-156, Line 12(A+B+C)+Line13(A+B+C))
The total number of cases in which an absent parent's physical whereabouts, address, employer, sources of income, or assets have been located during the quarter. Relocations are also included in these figures.
Federal Parent Locator Service Requests Processed with Known Social Security Numbers
These are cases submitted to the FPLS for an address search in which the child support enforcement agency has provided an SSN for the absent parent. Based upon input from the State, the FPLS will send the case to any or all of the following Federal agencies: Internal Revenue Service, Department of Defense, Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, National Personnel Records Center, and Selective Service System. There are also quarterly matches done with State Employment Security Agencies. Any responses are returned to the child support enforcement agency.
Federal Parent Locator Service Requests Processed with Unknown Social Security Numbers
These are cases submitted to the FPLS for an address search in which the child support enforcement agency could not provide a valid SSN for the absent parent. The FPLS will attempt to identify the SSN of the absent parent using information from the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. If an SSN is found, the FPLS will proceed with the address search.
Total Number of Paternities Established (Form OCSE-156, Line 14(A+B+C))
The total number of children for whom paternity was established during the year. A paternity is defined as the legal establishment of fatherhood for a child after the opening of a child support enforcement case, either by court determination or voluntary acknowledgment in States where such acknowledgments are legally enforceable.
Paternity Standard (Form OCSE-158, Line 3 (A+C+E) Divided by Line 1(A+C+E))
Public Law 100-485 requires States to meet a standard for paternity establishment in order to be in substantial compliance with the requirement to operate an effective paternity establishment program. It requires States to be judged using the following measure: the total number of children born out of wedlock for whom AFDC-TANF- is being paid or IV-D services are being provided under Section 454(6) of the Social Security Act and for whom paternity has been established--divided by the total number of children born out of wedlock receiving AFDC-TANF or IV-D services.
Number of Support Obligations Established (Form OCSE-156, Line 15 (A, B, and C))
The total number of support obligations established during the year. An obligation is defined as the legal establishment of an amount of money which is to be paid on a regular basis by a non-custodial parent for the support of that parent's children. Modifications to existing obligations are also included in these figures if they are the result of actions in which the State or local child support enforcement agency participated.
Number of Support Orders Established that Include Health Insurance (Form OCSE-156, Line 15a(A+B+C))
The total number of support orders established by the IV-D agency which included orders for health insurance or medical support.
Number of Support Orders Enforced or Modified (Form OCSE-156, Line 16(A, B, and C))
The total number of support orders enforced or modified by the IV-D agency. Modifications must have been established by court order, voluntary agreement, or other legal process.
Total Number of Support Orders Enforced or Modified that Include Health Insurance. (Form OCSE-156, Line 16a(A+B+C))
The total number of support orders enforced or modified by the IV-D agency which included orders for health insurance or medical support.
Number of Families Removed from AFDC with Child Support Collections (Form OCSE-156, 11(A))
The total number of AFDC-TANF cases terminated by the IV-A agency in which there was a collection. This information reflects all IV-A case closures with a child support collection during the month the case was terminated.
IV-A Cases in Which Parents Claim Good Cause for Refusing to Cooperate (Form SSA-4680)
The number of cases in which refusal to cooperate occurred for any reason and the number of cases for which good cause for refusing to cooperate was determined. Examples of circumstances for which good cause is determined to exist include physical or emotional harm to the child or parent, rape or incest, legal adoption, and pre-adoption service.
Total Full Time Staff Employed as of September 30 (Form OCSE-158, Line 13(A) + Line 14(A))
Reported are the total number of FTE staff employed by the State IV-D agency and any local IV-D agencies as well as the number of FTE staff employed by an agency (public or private) working under a cooperative agreement or a purchase-of-service agreement with the IV-D agency on the last working day of September. FTE numbers include the reporting of all full-time equivalent workers and part-time workers using the number of hours worked by all part-time staff divided by 2080 hours.
Total Salary and Fringe Benefits for Full-Time Staff Employed as of September 30 (Form OCSE-158, Line 13(B) + Line 14(B))
Reported are the total salary and fringe benefits for the staff employed at State and local IV-D agencies and those under cooperative/purchase of service agreements.
Total Cases with Voluntary Payments (Form OCSE-158, Line 5(A+C+E))
The total number of cases where a legally enforceable support order has not been established but collections have been received during the current year broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF and Foster Care Arrears Only.
Total Amount of Voluntary Payments (Form OCSE-158, Line 5(B+C+F))
The total amount of collections received during the current year for cases where a legally enforceable support order has not been established broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF and Foster Care Arrears Only.
Total Number of Cases Opened During the Year (Form OCSE-156, Line 2(A+B+C))
The total number of IV-D cases opened during the current year through receipt of a valid written referral from the State IV-A or IV-E agency, receipt of a non-AFDC-TANF application from the custodial parent, or terminated IV-A and IV-E cases continuing to receive services as non-AFDC-TANF and/or arrears only cases. This figure includes cases opened as a result of requests for assistance received from other States. URESA petitions from other States are counted only if the initiating petition specifically requires action on the part of the responding State's IV-D agency.
Total Number of Cases Closed During the Year (Form OCSE-156, Line 3(A+B+C))
The total number of cases formally closed during the year. There are limited conditions for closing IV-D cases set forth in Federal regulations.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE INFORMATION
Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program
States are required to submit cases to the Office of Child Support Enforcement certifying that criteria for Federal income tax refund offset are met as specified in section 464 of the Social Security Act. Cases are then submitted to IRS for match against their master file. Those cases that successfully match the IRS master file are certified for Federal income tax refunds offsets.
IRS Full Collections
Cases submitted and amounts collected as a result of collections through the IRS Full Collection Process. Under certain conditions, the IRS can collect child support against a parent's income and other assets. States submit cases to the OCSE Regional Offices which certify cases to IRS. IRS collects money through various means such as liens on property or bank accounts.
Current Support Due (Form OCSE-158, Line 7(A through F))
The total number of orders and amounts of money due (accounts receivable) for current year support broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Foster Care Arrears Only.
Current Support Received (Form OCSE-158, Line 8(A through F))
The total number of orders and the amount of collections received for this year applicable to total amounts ordered for the current year broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
Prior Years' Support Due (Form OCSE-158, Line 9(A through F))
The total number of orders and amounts of money due (accounts receivable) for past due prior year child support broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Foster Care Arrears Only.
Prior Years' Support Received (Form OCSE-158, Line 10(A through F))
The total number of orders and the amount of collections received this year for orders owing past due support from prior years broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Foster Care Arrears Only.
Support Due for Orders Entered This Year (Form OCSE-158, Line 11(A through F))
The total number of support orders and the amount of collections due for orders which entered the IV-D system during the year. The number reported represents obligations for the current year that entered the IV-D system during the year. The figure includes pre-existing support orders associated with cases opened during the year and new orders established during the year.
Support Received for Orders Entered This Year (Form OCSE-158, Line 12(A through F))
The total number of orders and the amount of collections received this year for orders that entered the IV-D system during the year.
Cases Initiated in the Reporting States (Form OCSE-156, Line 18(A+B+C))
The number of interstate cases initiated in the reporting State during each quarter, broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Foster Care Arrears Only.
Cases Initiated in Other States (Form OCSE-156, Line 19(A+B+C))
The total number of interstate cases initiated in another State during each quarter, broken out for AFDC-TANF and Foster Care, non-AFDC-TANF, and AFDC-TANF Foster Care Arrears Only.
Cases in Which Collections Were Sent to Other States (Form OCSE-156, Line 20(A+B+C))
The total number of cases for which collections were sent to other States during the second month of the quarter. All cases for which collections were paid to other States are reported, regardless of when the request for assistance was received.
Cases in Which Collections Were Received from Other States (Form OCSE-156, Line 21(A+B+C))
Total number of cases for which collections were received from other States. Includes all interstate cases for which collections were received, regardless of when the request for assistance was sent.
Total Collections Made on Behalf of Other States (Form OCSE-34, Line 19(A+B+C))
Collections made by the reporting State on behalf of other States.
Total Collections Received from Other States (Form OCSE-34, Line 7(A+B+C))
Amounts collected by other States on behalf of the reporting State.
FY 1997 Action Transmittals
OCSE-AT-96-10, December 23, 1996: Enhanced federal financial participation.
Availability of FFP at an enhanced rate under welfare reform.
OCSE-AT-96-01, January 6, 1997: Calculation and Recoupment of Federal Share.
Instructions for the calculation and recoupment of the Federal share of child support collections made on behalf of children in foster care facilities under the provisions of Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.
OCSE-AT-97-02, February 10, 1997: Exemption Requests
Revised instructions for requesting an exemption from the mandatory laws and procedures required under section 466 of the Social Security Act.
OCSE-AT-97-03, March 6, 1997: Distribution of Federally approved interstate child support enforcement forms.
Copies of the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support form and instructions, the Interstate Subpoena form and instructions, and the Notice of Interstate Lien form and instructions.
OCSE-AT-97-04, March 12, 1997: New Hire Reporting
Policy questions and responses regarding the National Directory of New Hires and the State Directory of New Hires.
OCSE-AT-97-05, April 28, 1997: Procedures for State Plan Disapproval
Procedures for determining that a State IV-D plan is disapproved.
OCSE-AT-97-06, May 2, 1997: Interstate Forms
Federally approved standard interstate child support enforcement forms.
OCSE-AT-97-07, May 15, 1997: Exemption from State Disbursement Unit
Instructions for requesting an exemption from the mandatory State plan provision that the IV-D agency establish a single State disbursement unit under section 454(27) of the Social Security Act.
OCSE-AT-97-08, May 14, 1997: Reduction in Federal Financial Participation (FFP) Rates
Informs States of the elimination of the 90 percent FFP rate on September 30, 1997.
OCSE-AT-97-09, July 17, 1997: Revisions to the Title IV-D State Plan Preprint
New and revised title IV-D State plan preprint pages reflecting the changes made to the State plan provisions of title IV-D by the welfare reform legislation.
OCSE-AT-97-10, July 30, 1997: General Questions
Responses to a series of questions received from States and others on various aspects of welfare reform, specifically those questions not answered by a separate AT on one topic, such as new hire reporting or distribution.
OCSE-AT-97-11, August 4, 1997: Federal Register Notice
Regarding Required Data Elements for Paternity Acknowledgement Affidavits.
OCSE-AT-97-12, September 9, 1997: Revisions to the Title IV-D State Plan Preprint
New and revised title IV-D State plan preprint page 3.15 reflecting the changes made by welfare reform to State plan provisions.
OCSE-AT-97-13, September 15, 1997: State Disbursement Units
Policy guidance on the requirement that States establish a State Disbursement Unit by October 1, 1998, including responses to a series of questions received from States and others on the mandate.
OCSE-At-97-14, September 29, 1997: Approval of Form ACF-396, “Child Support Enforcement Program Financial Report”
Informs States of the temporary approval by OMB of Form ACF-396, which replaces Form OCSE-131.
OCSE-AT-97-15, September 30, 1997: New Hire Reporting
Answers questions regarding New Hire reporting requirements for multistate employers.
State Child Support Enforcement Agencies (This information is outdated and has been removed on 03/03/2009)
Federal Legislative History of Child Support Enforcement
The first Federal child support enforcement legislation was Section 402(a)(11) of the Social Security Act [42 USC 602(a)(11)], which required State welfare agencies to notify appropriate law enforcement officials upon providing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with respect to a child who was abandoned or deserted by a parent.
Also that year, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Bar Association approved the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (subsequent amendments to this Act were approved in 1952, 1958, and 1968).
Public Law (P.L.) 89‑97, the Social Security Amendments of 1965, allowed a State or local welfare agency to obtain from the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare the address and place of employment of an absent parent who owed child support under a court order for support.
P.L. 90‑248, the Social Security Amendments of 1967, allowed States to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the addresses of absent parents who owed child support under a court order for support. In addition, each State was required to establish a single organizational unit to establish paternity and collect child support for deserted children receiving AFDC. States were also required to work cooperatively with each other under child support reciprocity agreements and with courts and law enforcement officials.
P.L. 93‑647, the Social Security Amendments of 1974, created, inter alia, Part D of Title IV of the Social Security Act [Sections 451, et seq.; 42 USC 651, et seq.]. The key child support enforcement provisions, which reflect three years of intense Congressional attention, are as follows:
- The Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now the Department of Health and Human Services or DHHS) has primary responsibility for the Program and is required to establish a separate organizational unit to operate the program. Operational responsibilities include (1) establishing a parent locator service; (2) establishing standards for State program organization, staffing, and operation to assure an effective program; (3) reviewing and approving State plans for the program; (4) evaluating State program operations by conducting audits of each State's program; (5) certifying cases for referral to the Federal courts to enforce support obligations; (6) certifying cases for referral to the IRS for support collections; (7) providing technical assistance to States and assisting hem with reporting procedures; (8) maintaining records of program operations, expenditures, and collections; and (9) submitting an annual report to the Congress.
- Primary responsibility for operating the Child Support Enforcement Program is placed on the States pursuant to the State plan. The major requirements of a State plan are that (1) the State designate a single and separate organizational unit to administer the program; (2) the State undertake to establish paternity and secure support for individuals receiving AFDC and others who apply directly for child support enforcement services; (3) child support payments be made to the State for distribution; (4) the State enter into cooperative agreements with appropriate courts and law enforcement officials; (5) the State establish a State parent locator service that uses State and local parent location resources and the Federal Parent Locator Service; (6) the State cooperate with any other State in locating an absent parent, establishing paternity, and securing support; and (7) the State maintain a full record of collections and disbursements made under the plan.
- Procedures were set out for the distribution of child support collections received on behalf of families receiving AFDC.
- Incentive payments to States for collections made on AFDC cases were created.
- Monies due and payable to Federal employees became subject to garnishment for the collection of child support.
- New eligibility requirements were added to the AFDC program, which required each applicant for, or recipient of, AFDC to make an assignment of support rights to the State; to cooperate with the State in establishing paternity and securing support; and to furnish his or her Social Security number to the State.
The effective date of P.L. 93‑647 was July 1, 1975, except for the provision regarding garnishment of Federal employees, which was effective upon enactment. However, several problems were identified prior to the effective date and Congress passed P.L. 94‑46 to extend the effective date to August 1, 1975. In addition, P.L. 94‑88 was passed in August 1975 to allow States to obtain waivers from certain program requirements under certain conditions until June 30, 1976 and to receive Federal reimbursement at a reduced rate. This law also eased the requirement for AFDC recipients to cooperate with State child support enforcement agencies when such cooperation would not be in the best interests of the child. It also provided for supplemental payments to AFDC recipients whose grants would be reduced due to the implementation of the child support enforcement program.
P.L. 94-566, effective October 20, 1976, required State employment agencies to provide absent parents' addresses to State child support enforcement agencies.
P.L. 95‑30, effective May 23, 1977, made several amendments to Title IV‑D:
- Provisions relating to the garnishment of a Federal employee's wages for child support were amended to (1) include employees of the District of Columbia; (2) specify the conditions and procedures to be followed to serve garnishments on Federal agencies; (3) authorize the issuance of garnishment regulations by the three branches of the Federal Government and by the District; and (4) define further certain terms used.
- Section 454 of the Social Security Act (42 USC 654) was amended to require the State plan to provide bonding for employees who receive, handle, or disburse cash and to insure that the accounting and collection functions be performed by different individuals.
- The incentive payment provision, under section 458(a) of the Social Security Act [42 USC 658(a)], was amended to change the rate to 15 percent of AFDC collections (from 25 percent for the first 12 months and 10 percent thereafter).
P.L. 95-142, the Medicare‑Medicaid Antifraud and Abuse Amendments of 1977, established a medical support enforcement program, under which States could require Medicaid applicants to assign to the State their rights to medical support. State Medicaid agencies were allowed to enter into cooperative agreements with any appropriate agency of any State, including the IV‑D agency, for assistance with the enforcement and collection of medical support obligations. Incentives were also available to localities making child support collections for States and for States securing collections on behalf of other States.
P.L. 95-598, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, repealed section 456(b) of the Social Security Act [42 USC 656(b)], which had barred the discharge in bankruptcy of assigned child support debts. (Note: this section of the Social Security Act (now 546(h)) was restored by P.L. 97-35 in 1981.)
P.L. 96‑178 extended Federal Financial Participation (FFP) for non‑AFDC services to March 31, 1980, retroactive to October 1, 1978.
P.L. 96-265, the Social Security Disability Amendments of 1980, increased Federal matching funds to 90 percent, effective July 1, 1981, for the costs of developing, implementing, and enhancing approved automated child support management information systems. Federal matching funds were also made available for child support enforcement duties performed by certain court personnel. In another provision, the law authorized the use of the IRS to collect child support arrearages on behalf of non‑AFDC families. Finally, the law provided State and local IV‑D agencies access to wage information held by the Social Security Administration and State employment security agencies for use in establishing and enforcing child support obligations.
P.L. 96-272, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, contained four amendments to Title IV‑D of the Social Security Act. First, the law made FFP for non‑AFDC services available on a permanent basis. Second, it allowed States to receive incentive payments on all AFDC collections as well as interstate collections. Third, as of October 1, 1979, States were required to claim reimbursement for expenditures within two years, with some exceptions. The fourth change postponed until October, 1980, the imposition of the 5 percent penalty on AFDC reimbursement for States not having effective child support enforcement programs.
P.L. 97-35, the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981, added five amendments to the IV‑D provisions. First, IRS was authorized to withhold all or a part of certain individuals' Federal income tax refunds for collection of delinquent child support obligations. Second, IV‑D agencies were required to collect spousal support for AFDC families. Third, for non‑AFDC cases, IV‑D agencies were required to collect fees from absent parents who were delinquent in their child support payments. Fourth, child support obligations assigned to the State no longer were dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings. The law imposed on States a requirement to withhold a portion of unemployment benefits from absent parents delinquent in their support payments.
P.L. 97-248, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, included the following provisions, affecting the IV‑D program:
- FFP was reduced from 75 to 70 percent, effective October 1, 1982. Incentives were reduced from 15 to 12 percent, effective October 1, 1983. The provision for reimbursement of costs of certain court personnel that exceed the amount of funds spent by a State on similar court expenses during calendar year 1978 was repealed.
- The mandatory non‑AFDC collection fee imposed by P.L. 97‑35 was repealed, retroactive to August 13, 1981. States were allowed to elect not to recover costs or to recover costs from collections or from fees imposed on absent parents. Another provision allowed States to collect spousal support in certain non‑AFDC cases.
- As of October 1, 1982, members of the uniformed services on active duty are required to make allotments from their pay when support arrearages reach the equivalent of a 2‑month delinquency.
- Also beginning October 1, 1982, States were allowed to reimburse themselves for AFDC grants paid to families for the first month in which the collection of child support is sufficient to make a family ineligible for AFDC.
P.L. 97-253, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982, provided for the disclosure of information obtained under authority of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to various programs, including State child support enforcement agencies.
P.L. 97-252, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act, authorized treatment of military retirement or retainer pay as property to be divided by State courts in connection with divorce, dissolution, annulment, or legal separation proceedings.
P.L. 98‑378, the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984, featured provisions that required critical improvements in State and local child support enforcement programs in four major areas:
- Mandatory Practices
All States must enact statutes providing for the use of improved enforcement mechanisms, including (1)mandatory income withholding procedures; (2) expedited processes for establishing and enforcing support orders; (3) State income tax refund interceptions; (4) liens against real and personal property, security or bonds to assure compliance with support obligations; and (5) reports of support delinquency information to consumer reporting agencies. State law must allow for the bringing of paternity actions any time prior to a child's 18th birthday and all support orders issued or modified after October 1, 1985, must include a provision for wage withholding.
- Federal Financial Participation and Audit Provisions
To encourage greater reliance on performance‑based incentives, Federal matching funds were reduced by 2 percent in FY 1988 (to 68 percent) and another 2 percent in FY 1990 (to 66 percent). Federal matching funds at 90 percent became available for the development and installation of automated systems, including computer hardware purchases, to facilitate income withholding and other newly required procedures.
State incentive payments were reset at 6 percent for both AFDC and non-AFDC collections. These percentages can increase to as much as 10 percent for both categories for very cost‑effective States, but a State's non‑AFDC incentive payments are limited by the amount of incentives received for AFDC collections. The law further required States to pass incentives through to local child support enforcement agencies where these agencies have participated in the costs of the program.
Annual State audits were replaced with audits conducted at least once every 3 years. The focus of the audits was altered to evaluate a State's effectiveness on the basis of program performance as well as operational compliance. Penalties for noncompliance are from 1 to 5 percent of the Federal share of the State's AFDC funds. The Federal government may suspend imposition of a penalty based on a State's filing of, and complying with, an acceptable corrective action plan.
- Improved Interstate Enforcement
The proven enforcement techniques discussed above must be applied to interstate cases as well as intrastate cases. Both States involved inan interstate case may take credit for the collection when reporting total collections for the purpose of calculating incentives. Special demonstration grants were authorized beginning in FY 1985 to fund innovative methods of interstate enforcement and collection. Federal audits will focus on States' effectiveness in establishing and enforcing obligations across State lines.
- Equal Services for Welfare and Nonwelfare Families
The Social Security Act was amended to show that Congress intended the Child Support Enforcement Program to aid both nonwelfare and welfare families. Several specific requirements were directed at improving State services to nonwelfare families. All of the mandatory practices must be made available for both classes of cases; the interception of Federal income tax refunds is extended to nonwelfare cases; incentive payments for nonwelfare cases became available for the first time; when families are terminated from the welfare rolls, they automatically must receive nonwelfare support enforcement services without being charged an application fee; and States must publicize the availability of nonwelfare support enforcement services.
- Other Provisions
States were required to (1) collect support in certain foster care cases; (2) collect spousal support in addition to child support where both are due in a case; (3) notify AFDC recipients, at least yearly, of the collections made in their individual cases;(4) establish State commissions to examine, investigate, and study the operation of the State's child support system and report findings to the State's governor; (5) formulate guidelines for determining appropriate child support obligation amounts and distribute the guidelines to judges and other individuals who possess authority to establish obligation amounts; (6) offset the costs of the program by charging various fees to nonwelfare families and to delinquent absent parents; (7) allow families whose AFDC eligibility is terminated as a result of the payment of child support to remain eligible to receive Medicaid for 4 months; and (8) seek to establish medical support orders in addition to monetary awards. The Federal Parent Locator Service was made more accessible and effective in locating absent parents. Sunset provisions are included in the extension of Medicaid eligibility and Federal tax offsets for non‑AFDC families.
P.L. 98-369, the Tax Reform Act of 1984, included two tax provisions pertaining to alimony and child support.
- Under prior law, alimony was deductible by the payor and includible in the income of the payee. The 1984 law revised the rules relating to the definition of alimony. Generally, only cash payments that will terminate on the death of the payee spouse qualify as alimony. Alimony payments, if in excess of $10,000 per year, generally must be payable for at least 6 years and must not decline by more than $10,000. The prior law requirement that the payment be based on a legal support obligation was repealed and payors are required to furnish to the IRS the social security number of the payee spouse. A $50 penalty for failure to do so will be imposed. The provision is effective for divorce or separation agreements or orders executed after 1984.
- The 1984 law also provided that the $1,000 dependency exemption for a child of divorced or separated parents generally will be allocated to the custodial parent unless the custodial parent signs a written declaration that he or she will not claim the exemption for the year. Each parent may claim the medical expenses that he or she pays for the child, for purposes of computing the medical expense deduction. The provision is effective for taxable years beginning after 1984.
P.L. 99-509, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, included one child support enforcement amendment prohibiting the retroactive modification of child support awards. Under this new requirement, State laws must provide for either parent to apply for modification of an existing order with notice provided to the other parent. No modification is permitted before the date of this notification.
P.L. 100-203, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, required States to provide child support enforcement services to all families with an absent parent who receives Medicaid and have assigned their support rights to the State, regardless of whether they are receiving AFDC.
P.L. 100-485, the Family Support Act of 1988, emphasized the duties of parents to work and support their children and, in particular, emphasized child support enforcement as the first line of defense against welfare dependence. The key child support enforcement provisions, in brief, include:
- Guidelines for Child Support Awards
Judges and other officials are required to use State guidelines for child support unless they are rebutted by a written finding that applying the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case. States must review guidelines for awards every four years. Beginning five years after enactment, States generally must review and adjust individual case awards every three years for AFDC cases. The same applies to other IV‑D cases, except review and adjustment must be at the request of a parent.
- Establishment of Paternity
States are required to meet Federal standards for the establishment of paternity. The standard relates to the percentage obtained by dividing the number of children in the State who are born out of wedlock, are receiving cash benefits or IV‑D child support services, and for whom paternity has been established by the number of children who are born out of wedlock and are receiving cash benefits or IV‑D child support services. To meet Federal requirements, this percentage in a State must: (1) be at least 50 percent; (2) be at least equal to the average for all States; or (3) have increased by 3 percentage points from fiscal years 1988 to 1991 and by 3 percentage points each year thereafter.
States are mandated to require all parties in a contested paternity case to take a genetic test upon request of any party. The Federal matching rate for laboratory testing to establish paternity is set at 90 percent.
- Disregard of Child Support
The child support enforcement disregard authorized under the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 is clarified so that it applies to a payment made by the noncustodial parent in the month it was due even though it was received in a subsequent month.
- Requirement for Prompt State Response
The Secretary of DHHS required to set time limits within which States must accept and respond to requests for assistance in establishing and enforcing support orders as well as time limits within which child support payments collected by the State IV‑D agency must be distributed to the families to whom they are owed.
- Requirement for Automated Tracking and Monitoring System
Every State that does not have a Statewide automated tracking and monitoring system in effect must submit an advance planning document that meets Federal requirements by October 1, 1991. The Secretary must approve each document within nine months after submission. By October 1, 1995, every State must have an approved system in effect. Federal 90 percent matching rates for this activity expire September 30, 1995.
- Interstate Enforcement
A Commission on Interstate Child Support was created to hold national conferences on interstate child support enforcement reform and to report to Congress no later than October 1, 1990 on recommendations for improvements in the system and revisions in the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act.
- Computing Incentive Payments
Amounts spent by States for interstate demonstration projects are excluded from calculating the amount of the States' incentive payments.
- Use of INTERNET System
The Secretaries of Labor and DHHS required to enter into an agreement to give the Federal Parent Locator Service prompt access to wage and unemployment compensation claims information useful in locating absent parents.
- Wage Withholding
With respect to IV‑D cases, each State must provide for immediate wage withholding in the case of orders that are issued or modified on or after the first day of the 25th month beginning after the date of enactment unless: (1) one of the parties demonstrates, and the court finds, that there is good cause not to require such withholding; or (2) there is a written agreement between both parties providing for an alternative arrangement. Prior law requirements for mandatory wage withholding in cases where payments are in arrears apply to orders that are not subject to immediate wage withholding. States are required to provide for immediate wage withholding for all support orders initially issued on or after January 1, 1994, regardless of whether a parent has applied for IV‑D services.
- Work and Training Demonstration Programs for Noncustodial Parents
The Secretary of DHHS is required to grant waivers to up to five States to allow them to provide services to noncustodial parents under the JOBS program. No new power is granted to the States to require participation by noncustodial parents.
- Data Collection and Reporting
The Secretary of DHHS is required to collect and maintain State-by‑State statistics on paternity establishment, location of absent parent for the purpose of establishing a support obligation, enforcement of a child support obligation, and location of absent parent for the purpose of enforcing or modifying an established obligation.
- Use of Social Security Number
Each State must, in the administration of any law involving the issuance of a birth certificate, require each parent to furnish his or her social security number (SSN), unless the State finds good cause for not requiring the parent to furnish it. The SSN shall not appear on the birth certificate, and the use of the SSN obtained through the birth record is restricted to child support enforcement purposes, except under certain circumstances.
- Notification of Support Collected
Each State required to inform families receiving AFDC of the amount of support collected on their behalf on a monthly basis, rather than annually as provided under prior law. States may provide quarterly notification if the Secretary of DHHS determines that monthly reporting imposes an unreasonable administrative burden. This provision is effective 4 years after the date of enactment.
P.L. 101-239, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, made permanent the requirement that Medicaid benefits continue for 4 months after a family loses AFDC eligibility as a result of collection of child support payments.
P.L. 101-508, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, permanently extended the Federal provision that allows States to ask the IRS to collect child support arrearages of at least $500 out of income tax refunds otherwise due to noncustodial parents. The minor child restriction is to be eliminated for adults with a current support order who are disabled, as defined under OASDI or SSI. The IRS offset can be used for spousal support when spousal and child support are included in the same support order.
P.L. 101‑508 also extended the life of the Interstate Child Support Commission from July 1, 1991 to July 1, 1992, required the Commission to submit its report no later than May 1, 1992, and authorized the Commission to hire its own staff.
P.L. 102‑521, the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, imposed a Federal criminal penalty for the willful failure to pay a past‑due child support obligation with respect to a child who resides in another State that has remained unpaid for longer than a year or is greater than $5,000. For the first conviction the penalty is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than six months; for a second conviction, a fine of not more than $250,000 an/or imprisonment for up to two years.
P.L. 102‑537, the Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement Act of 1992, amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require consumer credit reporting agencies to include in any consumer report information on child support delinquencies provided by or verified by State or local CSE agencies, which antedates the report by 7 years.
P.L. 103‑66, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, increased the percentage of children for whom the State must establish paternity and required States to adopt laws requiring civil procedures to voluntarily acknowledge paternity (including hospital‑based programs).
P.L. 103‑66 also required States to adopt laws to ensure the compliance of health insurers and employers in carrying out court or administrative orders for medical child support and included a provision that forbids health insurers to deny coverage to children who are not living with the covered individual or who were born outside of marriage.
P.L. 103-383, the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act, requires each state to enforce, according to its terms, a child support order by a court (or administrative authority) of another state, with conditions and specifications for resolving issues of jurisdiction.
P.L. 103-394, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, protects child support from being discharged in bankruptcy. Among many other provisions, the new law includes child support as an exception to automatic stays, for judicial liens, and to discharge of debts in bankruptcy. It also provides protection against trustee avoidance, facilitates access to bankruptcy proceedings, and assigns child support a priority for collecting claims from debtors.
P.L. 103-403, the Small Business Administration Reauthorization and Amendments Act, requires that recipients of financial assistance not be more than 60 days delinquent in paying child support.
P.L. 103-432, the Social Security Amendments of 1994, requires state IV-D agencies to periodically report parents who are at least two months delinquent in paying child support to credit bureaus, modifies the benchmarks under Paternity Establishment Percentage formula used to determine the states' substantial compliance, and requires DHHS to provide free access for the Justice Department to the Federal Parent Locator Service in cases involving the unlawful taking or restraint of a child and/or the making or enforcing of a child custody determination.
P.L. 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
On August 22, President Clinton signed into law “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996,” a comprehensive bipartisan welfare reform plan that will dramatically change the nation’s welfare system into one that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance. The bill contains strong work requirements, a performance bonus to reward states for moving welfare recipints into jobs, state maintenance of effort requirements, comprehensive child support enforcement, and supports for families moving from welfare to work.
The new law includes the child support enforcement measures President Clinton proposed in 1994--the most sweeping crackdown on non-paying parents in history. Under the new law, each state must operate a child support enforcement program meeting federal requirements in order to be eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grants. Provisions include:
- National new hire reporting sytem. The law establishes a Federal Case Registry and National Directory of New Hires to track delinquent parents across state lines. It also requires that employers report all new hires to state agencies for transmittal of new hire information to the National Directory of New Hires.
- Streamlines paternity establishment. The new law streamlines the legal process for paternity establishment, making it easier and faster to establish paternities. It also expands the voluntary in-hospital paternity establishment program and requires a state form for voluntary paternity acknowledgement.
- Uniform interstate child support laws. The new law provides for uniform rules, procedures, and forms for interstate cases.
- Computerized state-wide collections. The new law requires states to establish central registries of child support orders and centralized collection and disbursement uits. It also requires expedited state procedures for child support enforcement.
- Tough new penalties. Under the new law, states can implement tough child support enforcement techniques. The new law expands wage garnishment, allows all states to seize assets, allows states to require community service in some cases, and enables states to revoke drivers and professional licenses for parents who owe delinquent child support.
- Families First. Under a new “Family First” policy, families no longer receiving assistance will have priority in the distribution of child support arrears.
- Access and visitation programs. In an effort to increase noncustodial parents’ involvement in their children’s lives, the new law includes grants to help states establish programs that support and facilitate noncustodial parents’ visitation with and access to their children.
P.L 105-33, the Balanced Budget Act of made a number of amendments to the Social Security Act, including creating the Children’s Health Insurance Program in title XXI to help provide medical coverage to children of working poor families who are not eligible for private health insurance, and who are earning too much to receive Medicaid. The Balanced Budget Act also amended section 454 of the Social Security Act regarding cooperation/good cause, and the FPLS language in section 453 to clarify the authority permitting certain re-disclosures of wage and claim information.
APPENDIX I: Fact Sheets and Press Releases
Fact Sheet: Child Support Enforcement: A Clinton Administration Priority
Fact Sheet: Child Support Enforcement Program
Fact Sheet: Clinton Administration Moving Forward on the Promise of Welfare Reform
Press Release: Clinton Administration Reports Record Year of Child Support Progress on Tough Child Support Enforcement Initiatives
Date: Wednesday, June 24, 1998
Contact: ACF Press Office (202) 401-9215
CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT: A CLINTON ADMINISTRATION PRIORITY
The goal of the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program, established in 1975 under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, is to ensure that children are supported financially by both parents.
Designed as a joint federal, state, and local partnership, the program involves 54 separate state and territory systems, each with its own unique laws and procedures. The program is usually run by state and local human service agencies, often with the help of prosecuting attorneys and other law enforcement officials as well as officials of family or domestic relations courts. At the federal level, the Department of Health and Human Services provides technical assistance and funding to states through the Office of Child Support Enforcement and also operates the Federal Parent Locator System, a computer matching system that locates non-custodial parents who owe child support.
Despite recent record improvements in paternity establishment and child support collections, much more needs to be done to ensure that all children born out-of-wedlock have paternity established and that all non-custodial parents provide financial support for their children. Currently, only about one-half of the custodial parents due child support receive full payment. About twenty-five percent receive partial payment and twenty-five percent receive nothing.
For that reason, President Clinton proposed, and Congress passed, legislation to strengthen and improve state child support collection activities. These provisions, included in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, could increase child support collections to over $24 billion in 10 years: a national new hire reporting system, streamlined paternity establishment, uniform interstate child support laws, computerized state-wide collections, and tough new penalties, such as driver's license revocation.
Clinton Administration Increases and Innovations
President Clinton has made improving child support enforcement and increasing child support collections a top priority. Since taking office, the President has cracked down on non-paying parents and strengthened child support enforcement, resulting in record child support collections: In FY 1997, the federal-state partnership collected an estimated $13.4 billion from non-custodial parents, an increase of $5 billion since 1992. The number of families that are receiving child support has increased to 4.2 million in 1997, an increase of 48 percent since 1992.
Encouraging State Innovations. In October, 1997 HHS announced the award of $1.5 million in demonstration grants to 17 states to support innovative projects to improve the nation's child support enforcement program. The projects will test:
- cooperation with child support requirements by Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) applicants and recipients;
- new models for coping with domestic violence in the context of child support enforcement; models of collaboration between child support enforcement, Head Start and Child Care programs at the state and local levels;
- collaborations to facilitate family preservation between child support and child welfare programs;
- reviewing and adjusting child support orders; the effect of child support collections on welfare recipient income; and,
- models for making the child support enforcement program responsive to the needs of low-income noncustodial fathers to encourage greater parental responsibility.
In December, 1997 HHS announced approval of a child support waiver to allow the State of Washington to use federal funds normally used for child support enforcement to fund "Devoted Dads," an innovative public/private partnership to promote the responsible roles of fathers in the
financial and emotional support of their children. The project, which serves the Tacoma, Washington Enterprise Community, intends to reach non-custodial parents, particularly young and at-risk fathers. This demonstration is the first child support waiver granted for an enterprise community.
Executive Action. While working toward comprehensive improvement of child support enforcement, President Clinton used his executive authority to increase child support collections. Since taking office, the President has directed the Treasury Department to activate a centralized, streamlined Federal system to offset child support debts against most Federal payments; ordered Federal agencies to take necessary steps to deny loans, loan guarantees, or loan insurance to any individual who is delinquent on child support debt; implemented a new program that will help track non-paying parents across state lines; proposed new regulations requiring women who apply for welfare to comply with paternity establishment requirements before receiving benefits; and issued an executive order to make the federal government a model employer in the area of child support enforcement. The Clinton Administration granted welfare reform waivers to 43 states, and more than two-thirds of these states used their waivers to pursue innovative child support reforms.
Increasing Resources. President Clinton has proposed annual expansions in child support enforcement, increasing resources by 53 percent since taking office. HHS has also launched an initiative and given demonstration grants to states to promote improved performance, service quality and public satisfaction in the child support program. The President's FY 1999 budget proposal allocates $3.2 billion to state child support enforcement programs, a 19 percent increase over FY 1998.
Prosecuting non-payers. Billions of dollars more in support is owed to children whose parents have crossed state lines to avoid paying. Under the Child Support Recovery Act, the Justice Department is investigating and prosecuting such cases. At President Clinton's direction, the Justice Department submitted legislation to Congress in September 1996 that would make it a felony offense to cross state lines to evade a child support obligation if the obligation has remained unpaid for longer than one year or is greater than $5,000; or to willfully fail to pay a child support obligation for a child living in another state if the obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than two years or is greater than $10,000. The President signed the bill into law on June 24, 1998.
Seizing tax refunds. The Federal government collected $1.1 billion in delinquent child support by intercepting income tax refunds of non-paying parents for tax year 1996. The amount was 10 percent higher than the previous year, and up 66 percent since 1992. Nearly 1.3 million families benefited from these collections.
Improving paternity establishment. The Clinton Administration has made paternity establishment a top priority. In FY 1997, an estimated 1.26 million paternities were established and acknowledged by parents. Of these, nearly 48,000 were in-hospital paternities voluntarily acknowledged. Since the inception of the voluntary program in 1993, acknowledgments have grown nearly six-fold. The number of paternities established in 1997 exceeded the number of out-of-wedlock births during the year, meaning paternities are being established for children born in earlier years. In 1992, paternity was established for just 40 percent of children born out-of-wedlock.
U.S. Postal Service Posts "Wanted Lists." The U.S. Postal Service is working with states to display post office "Wanted Lists" of parents who owe child support. The President has challenged every state to create such a "Wanted List" to expand efforts to track down parents who owe support and send the strongest possible message that evasion of child support responsibilities is a serious offense.
Action through the Internet. HHS's Office of Child Support Enforcement now has a home page on the Internet that provides information on the child support enforcement program, tells parents where they can apply for child support assistance, and provides links to states that have their own home pages.
Improvements Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996
At President Clinton's urging, the new welfare reform law includes the child support enforcement measures the President proposed in 1994 -- the most sweeping crackdown on non-paying parents in history. Under the new law, each state must operate a child support enforcement program meeting federal requirements in order to be eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grants. Provisions include:
National new hire reporting system. The law establishes a Federal Case Registry and National Directory of New Hires to track delinquent parents across state lines. It also requires that employers report all new hires to state agencies for transmittal to the National Directory of New Hires. This builds on President Clinton's June 1996 executive action to track delinquent parents across state lines. The law also expands and streamlines procedures for direct withholding of child support from wages. Since the implementation of the National Directory (to be fully operational by October 1, 1998), over 1 million parents who are not now paying child support to the children have been identified. They would not have been found without the National and State Directories. Location information is passed to the states for action.
Streamlined paternity establishment. The new law streamlines the legal process for paternity establishment, making it easier and faster to establish paternities. It also expands the voluntary in-hospital paternity establishment program, started by the Clinton Administration in 1993, and requires a state affidavit for voluntary paternity acknowledgment. These affidavits must meet minimum requirements set by the Secretary of HHS. In addition, the law mandates that states publicize the availability and encourage the use of voluntary paternity establishment processes. Individuals who fail to cooperate with paternity establishment will have their monthly cash assistance reduced by at least 25 percent.
Uniform interstate child support laws. The new law provides for uniform rules, procedures, and forms for interstate cases.
Computerized state-wide collections. The new law requires states to establish central registries of child support orders and centralized collection and disbursement units. It also requires expedited state procedures for child support enforcement.
Tough new penalties. Under the new law, states can implement tough child support enforcement techniques. The new law will expand wage garnishment, allow states to seize assets, allow states to require community service in some cases, and enable states to revoke driver and professional licenses for parents who owe delinquent child support.
"Families First." Under a new "Family First" policy, families no longer receiving assistance will have priority in the distribution of child support arrears. This new policy will bring families who have left welfare for work about $1 billion in support over the first six years.
Access and visitation programs. In an effort to increase noncustodial parents' involvement in their children's lives, the new law includes grants to help states establish programs that support and facilitate noncustodial parents' visitation and access to their children. In October, 1997, HHS announced the award of $10 million in grants to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to promote access and visitation programs. The minimum allotment per state for FY 1997 is $50,000.
New State Incentives. Current law provides for HHS to make incentive payments to states for their child support enforcement systems, but these payments are based on only one factor: cost-effectiveness. Under the new welfare reform law, HHS was authorized to prepare an alternative incentive plan. On March 13, 1997, Secretary Shalala submitted a proposal to Congress which was designed to further improve the performance of state child support enforcement programs by linking federal incentive payments to states to their performance in five key areas: establishment of paternities, establishment of child support orders, collections on current child support owed, collection on previously or past due child support owed, and cost-effectiveness. To reinforce the goal of achieving self-sufficiency, states will be rewarded for collection in all child support cases, but with a stronger emphasis on welfare and former welfare cases. On September 16, 1997, Secretary Shalala joined Rep. Clay Shaw, chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, and Rep. Sandy Levin, the ranking minority member of the subcommittee, in announcing legislation that is drawn from the HHS proposal. The House of Representatives passed the bill on September 30, 1997, followed by the Senate. The legislation is awaiting final action by the Congress.
Child Support Enforcement Program
The goal of the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program, which was established in 1975 under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, is to ensure that children are financially supported by both their parents. Welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed in 1996 provided strong measures for ensuring that children receive the support due them:
- States were required to enact uniform interstate laws by January 1, 1998.
- State and Federal CSE programs provide registries of newly hired employees.
- Paternity establishment has been streamlined.
- States will have computerized state-wide support collection and disbursement centers by October 1998.
- Tough new penalties, such as license revocation and seizure of assets, will be available when child support obligations are not met.
The 1996 legislation also recognizes the importance to children of access to their noncustodial parent: the new law includes grants to help States establish programs that support and facilitate noncustodial parents’ visitation with and access to their children.
The CSE program is usually run by state and local human services departments, often with the help of prosecuting attorneys, other law enforcement agencies, and officials of family or domestic relations courts.
Child Support Enforcement services are available automatically for families receiving assistance under the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. Any current child support collected reimburses the state and federal governments for TANF payments made to the family.
Child support services are also available to families not receiving TANF who apply for such services. Child support payments that are collected on behalf of non-TANF families are sent to the family. For these families, states must charge an application fee of up to $25, but may pay this fee from state funds. Some states may also charge for the cost of services rendered.
The most recent census data show that, in the Spring of 1992, 11.5 million families with children had a parent living elsewhere. Custodial parent families, 86 percent of which were headed by women and 14 percent headed by men, comprised one third of all families with their own, never married children under 21. Of the 11.5 million, only 6.2 million (54 percent) of the custodial parents had awards or agreements for child support. Of the total $17.7 billion owed for child support in 1991, $5.8 billion was not paid. Among those due support, about half received the full amount, about a quarter received partial payment and about a quarter received nothing.
During FY 1997, about $13.4 billion in child support payments was collected, and services were provided in over 19.3 million cases through the Program. Paternity was established for more than l.29 million children that year through CSE Program and voluntary in-hospital acknowledgements, providing vital links between the children and their noncustodial parents. Almost 1.2 million new child support orders child support orders were established through the Program in FY 1997. The Federal government collected a record $1.1 billion in delinquent child support by intercepting income tax refunds of non-paying parents for tax year 1996.
The Child Support Enforcement Program provides four major services: locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, establishing child support obligations, and enforcing child support orders.
Locating Absent Parents—Child support enforcement officials use local information and resources of State and Federal Parent Locator services to locate parents for child support enforcement, or to find a parent in parental kidnapping/custody disputes. About four million cases are processed annually by the Federal Parent Locator Service.
Establishing Paternity—Establishing paternity (legally identifying a child’s father) is a necessary first step for obtaining an order for child support when children are born out of wedlock. Establishing paternity also provides access to Social security, pension and retirement benefits; health insurance and information; and interaction with members of both parents’ families.
Many fathers voluntarily acknowledge paternity. Otherwise, father, mother, and child can be required to submit to genetic tests. The results are highly accurate. States must have procedures which allow paternity to be established at least up to the child’s eighteenth birthday.
Establishing Support Obligations—States must have guidelines to establish how much a parent should pay for child support. Support agency staff can take child support cases to court, or to an administrative hearing process to establish the order. Health insurance coverage can also be ordered.
Enforcing Child Support Orders—A parent can be required to pay child support by income withholding. The new welfare reform legislation establishes State and Federal registries of newly hired employees to speed the transfer of wage withholding orders. Overdue child support can be collected from federal and state income tax refunds. Liens can be put on property, and the property itself may even be sold with the proceeds used to pay child support arrearages. Unpaid child support should be reported automatically to credit reporting bureaus, and drivers, professional, occupational and recreational licenses can be suspended if the obligated parent is not paying support as required.
For further information, contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement on Internet site http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/. The site provides links to States that have their own home pages.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday July 10, 1997
Contact: Michael Kharfen
Clinton Administration Reports Record Year of Child Support,
Progress on Tough Child Support Enforcement Initiatives
The Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families announced dramatic improvement in the most critical areas of child support enforcement. According to the 20th Annual Report to Congress on Child Support Enforcement issued by HHS today, the federal/state child support enforcement program has made record increases in child support collections, paternity establishments, and families receiving collections.
For fiscal year 1995, $10.8 billion was collected from non-custodial parents. Preliminary data for fiscal year 1996 shows that the federal/state partnership collected a record $12 billion, surpassing the estimate of $11.8 billion that the President announced in September 1996. Since 1992 child support collections have increased by $4 billion, or 50 percent.
The report issued today also shows a dramatic increase in paternity establishment since President Clinton took office. In fiscal year 1995 over 900,000 paternities were established, exceeding the Administration's previous estimates of 735,000 paternities. Further, preliminary data for fiscal year 1996 shows that the number of paternities established rose to nearly 1 million, almost double, from 516,000 in 1992. The increase is attributable to paternities established as part of the Clinton administration's voluntary in-hospital paternity establishment regulation.
The report describes collections and other child support activities nationwide during fiscal year 1995 (October 1994- September 1995). It also contains state-by-state financial and program data. Highlights of some of the findings are:
- paternity establishment for 903,451 children in 1995 compared with 670,177 in 1994, an increase of 35 percent
- cases with a collection were 3.7 million in 1995 compared with 3.4 million, an increase of 9 percent
New estimates for fiscal year 1996 show more improved results for children. Cases with a collection increased to nearly 4 million, an increase of 43 percent over 2.8 million in 1992. Paternity establishments rose to nearly 1 million, an increase of 50 percent over 0.5 million in 1992.
HHS calculates the cost-effectiveness of the child support program by determining how much child support is collected per dollar of administrative spending. This ratio measures the management efficiency of the program and how effective it spends administrative funds. The program improved its cost-effectiveness ratio from 3.59 in 1995 to an estimated 3.94 in 1996, an increase of 10 percent. The result for children is more collections by a better-managed program.
"No parents should or will evade their responsibility to support their children," said David Gray Ross, deputy director, office of child support enforcement. "We, the states and the federal government, now have both the will and the way to find any parent, at home or at work, to collect child support and help their children to a stronger and brighter future."
The child support enforcement program serves families receiving assistance under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program, as well as other families who apply for service.
Note: The report is available from the HHS Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20047.
August 22, 1997
Contact: HHS Press Office
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION MOVING FORWARD ON THE PROMISE OF WELFARE REFORM
On August 22, 1996, President Clinton signed into law "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996," a comprehensive bipartisan welfare reform plan that has dramatically changed the nation's welfare system into one that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance. The law contains strong work requirements, a performance bonus to reward states for moving welfare recipients into jobs, state maintenance of effort requirements, comprehensive child support enforcement, and supports for families moving from welfare to work - including increased funding for child care and guaranteed medical coverage.
The Clinton Administration has taken numerous steps to ensure the success of the law. In the past year, the Clinton Administration has provided assistance to states and communities in implementing the law; created partnerships with the business, religious and non-profit communities to hire and train welfare recipients; and delivered on the President's pledge to invest in moving people from welfare to work and fix provisions in the law that had nothing to do with welfare reform. As a result of the Clinton Administration's focused efforts this year -- and throughout the last four years -- the welfare caseload fell by 3.4 million recipients, from 14.1 million in January 1993 to 10.7 million in May 1997, the largest welfare caseload decline in history.
TRANSFORMING THE BROKEN WELFARE SYSTEM:
Overhauling the Welfare System Nationwide: On July 1, the historic welfare law that the President signed last August went into effect in every state, making work and responsibility the law of the land. The Department of Health and Human Services has certified welfare plans for each state. In accordance with the welfare law, all plans require and reward work, impose time limits, and demand personal responsibility.
Building on the Administration's Welfare Reform Strategy: Even before welfare reform, many states were well on their way to changing their welfare programs to jobs programs. By waiving certain provisions in federal statutes, the Clinton Administration allowed 43 states -- more than all previous Administrations combined -- to require work, time-limit assistance, make work pay, improve child support enforcement, and encourage parental responsibility. A vast majority of states have chosen to continue or build on their welfare demonstration projects approved by the Clinton Administration.
Largest Caseload Decline in History: The welfare caseload fell by 3.4 million recipients, from 14.1 million in January 1993 to 10.7 million in May 1997, a drop of 24 percent since President Clinton took office. Forty-eight out of fifty states have seen their caseloads decline, with ten states reducing their rolls by 40 percent or more in the last four years. This is the largest welfare caseload decline in history and the lowest percentage of the population on welfare since 1970. According to the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) analysis, the reduction in the welfare rolls can be attributed to the strong economic growth during the Clinton Administration, the waivers granted to states to test innovative strategies to move people from welfare to work, and other factors, which may include the Administration's expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, strengthened child support enforcement, and increased funding for child care.
Mobilizing the Business Community: To make welfare reform a success and help move a million people from welfare into the workforce by the year 2000, President Clinton has enlisted the business community's leadership. At the President's urging, the Welfare to Work Partnership, chaired by United Airlines CEO Gerald Greenwald, was launched in May 1997, to lead the national business effort to hire people from the welfare rolls. So far 800 companies, large and small, have accepted the President's challenge to forge a national effort to help move those on public assistance into jobs in the private sector. In August 1997, the Welfare to Work Partnership launched: a toll-free hotline (1-888-USAJOB1), a web page (www.welfaretowork.org), a "Blueprint for Business" manual to help companies across the nation hire people off welfare; and a city to city challenge to help promote innovative and effective welfare to work initiatives in 12 cities with high levels of poverty during the next year.
Helping Welfare Recipients Get Off and Stay Off Welfare: The Vice President created the Welfare to Work Coalition to Sustain Success, a coalition of civic groups committed to helping former welfare recipients stay in the workforce and succeed. Tailoring their services to meet welfare recipients' needs and the organizations' strengths, the Coalition will focus on providing mentoring and other support services. Charter members of the Coalition include: the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Baptist Joint Committee, the United Way, the YMCA, and fourteen other civic groups.
Federal Government's Hiring Initiative: As the nation's largest employer, the federal government is also doing its fair share to hire people from the welfare rolls. In March 1997, the President directed each head of a Federal agency or department to develop a plan to hire and retain welfare recipients in jobs in the government. The President asked the Vice President to oversee this initiative, in which the federal agencies have agreed to directly hire at least 10,000 welfare recipients in the next four years without displacing current employees.
ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO MOVING FROM WELFARE TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Increasing Funding for and Improving Quality of Child Care: The welfare law increased child care funding by nearly $4 billion over 6 years, providing child care assistance to low-income working families and parents moving from welfare to work. In October 1996, HHS released the child care block grant funds for FY 1997 providing up to $1.92 billion to states, a significant increase over the estimated FY 1996 level of $1.35 billion. The Clinton Administration also has taken steps to ensure the health and safety of child care. In July 1997, President Clinton proposed new child care regulations, which include a new approach to help more children in child care receive the immunizations they need on time.
Developing Strategies to Address Transportation Issues: In May 1997, President Clinton announced Department of Transportation grants to 24 states to develop welfare to work transportation strategies. The President also urged Congress to adopt a six-year, $600 million grant program in his NEXTEA transportation bill that would support flexible, innovative transportation systems in rural, urban and suburban areas to get people to jobs.
Continuing to Strengthen Child Support Enforcement: Due to the President's unprecedented and sustained campaign to make noncustodial parents pay the child support they owe, the Clinton Administration collected a record $12 billion in child support in 1996, an increase of 50% since 1992. Paternity establishment almost doubled to nearly 1 million cases in FY 1996, from 516,000 in 1992. And the number of families actually receiving child support rose to 4 million cases with collections, an increase of 43 percent, over 2.8 million in 1992.
Implementing the Provisions in the Welfare Law: The welfare law included tough child support measures long-supported by the President, including: a national new hire reporting system; streamlined paternity establishment; uniform interstate child support laws; computerized state-wide collections; and tough new penalties. So far over half the states have enacted these provisions. The President has urged all states to put these enforcement tools in place to ensure that children and families get the support they need. These measures are projected to increase child support collections by an additional $24 billion over the next ten years.
Executive Actions: While working toward comprehensive improvement of child support enforcement, President Clinton used his executive authority to increase child support collections. Since taking office, President Clinton has: directed the Treasury Department to collect past-due child support from Federal payments including Federal income tax refunds and employee salaries; taken steps to deny Federal loans to any delinquent parents; and made the Federal government a model employer in the area of child support enforcement.
Preventing Teen Pregnancy: As a result of the Administration's focused effort since President Clinton took office, the national birth rate for teens aged 15-19 has continued to decline four straight years in row, decreasing by eight percent between 1991 and 1995. Significant components of the President's comprehensive effort to reduce teen pregnancy were included in the welfare law. The welfare law requires unmarried minor parents to stay in school and live at home, or in an adult-supervised setting; supports the creation of Second Chance Homes, which will provide teen parents with the skills and support they need; and provides $50 million a year in new funding for state abstinence education activities, beginning in FY 1998.
Launching a National Strategy: In January 1997, the Clinton Administration launched a new comprehensive effort to prevent teen pregnancy and encourage adolescents to remain abstinent. The initiative, led by the Department of Health and Human Services, responded to a call from the President and Congress for a national strategy to prevent out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies and to a directive, under the new welfare law, to assure that at least 25 percent of communities in this country have teen pregnancy prevention programs in place. The strategy sends the strongest possible message to all teens that postponing sexual activity, staying in school, and preparing for work are the right things to do. It strengthens ongoing efforts across the nation by increasing opportunities through welfare reform; supporting promising approaches; building partnerships; improving data collection, research, and evaluation; and disseminating information on innovative and effective practices. The national strategy places a special emphasis on encouraging abstinence, especially among 9- to 14-year-old girls, through HHS' new Girl Power! campaign, which was launched in November 1996.
Providing Resources to Promote Abstinence: The welfare law included $50 million a year in new funding for state abstinence education activities. In July, 1997 every state applied for this money to build on their state efforts to prevent teen pregnancy.
BALANCED BUDGET HELPS MOVE MORE PEOPLE FROM WELFARE TO WORK
The balanced budget that the President signed on August 5, 1997 delivered on the President's pledge to fulfill the promise of welfare reform by investing in moving people from welfare to work and fixing the provisions in the law that had nothing to do with welfare reform. Specifically:
$3 Billion to Help Move 1 Million People from Welfare to Work. As a result of the President's leadership, the balanced budget includes the total funding he requested to create a $3 billion Welfare to Work Jobs Challenge fund. This program will help states and local communities move long-term welfare recipients into lasting, unsubsidized jobs. These funds can be used for job creation, job placement and job retention efforts, including wage subsidies to private employers, and other critical post-employment support services. The Labor Department will provide oversight but the dollars will be placed in the hands of the localities who are on the front lines of the welfare reform effort.
A Welfare to Work Tax Credit. This provision will give employers an added incentive to hire long-term welfare recipients by providing a credit equal to 35 percent of the first $10,000 in wages in the first year of employment, and 50 percent of the first $10,000 in the second year, paid for new hires who have received welfare for an extended period. The credit, administered by the Treasury Department, is for two years per worker to encourage not only hiring but retention.
Focusing the Welfare Law on Work. The budget includes $12 billion to restore both disability and health benefits to legal immigrants who are currently receiving benefits or become disabled in the future, and to continue Medicaid coverage for currently disabled children receiving SSI. The budget bill will help 350,000 legal immigrants (in FY 2002) who would otherwise have been denied assistance. It also extended the SSI and Medicaid eligibility period for refugees and asylees from 5 years after entry in the country to 7 years to give these residents more time to naturalize. In addition, the budget bill improves the food stamp provisions in the welfare law by creating work slots and preserving food stamp benefits for those who are willing to work, but through no fault of their own, have not found employment.