Project to Avoid Increasing Delinquencies (PAID)
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: February 27, 2007
TO: STATE IV-D DIRECTORS, TRIBAL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Project to Avoid Increasing Delinquencies (PAID)
How can child support professionals ensure that families who depend on child support actually receive it—paid in full? That’s the underlying question that drives our work every day, and at every level, in our National Child Support Enforcement Program.
The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Central and Regional Offices in consultation with State child support program directors are planning a national initiative for FY2007 and beyond. This initiative renews our emphasis on activities that will increase the collection of current support and prevent and reduce arrears so child support will be a reliable source of income for more families. To name this national initiative, some have suggested PAID: Project to Avoid Increasing Delinquencies.
While total collections are at an all-time high, we believe that the slow improvements in current support and arrears collections rates over the past couple of years require a renewed national focus on areas that have been a priority since the start of the program.
In particular, I want to ensure that OCSE resources are supporting States in getting results and addressing their needs. Under the national initiative, OCSE plans to place special emphasis on activities that result in increasing collections of current support and reducing arrears. These activities include:
- Focusing Federal technical assistance on efforts that address root causes of nonpayment of support (e.g., establishing appropriate orders, early intervention upon nonpayment, and arrears compromise).
- Capitalizing on State best practices through training, technical assistance, and cross-regional meetings.
- Increasing awareness and encouraging use of data findings in program and policy decisions.
- Targeting automation opportunities such as electronic Income Withholding Orders (e-IWO), Level of Automation Guidance through technical assistance site visits and other outreach efforts.
- Implementing new centralized and/or standardized locate and enforcement remedies such as increasing the priority of child support cases for Federal offset and working on the exchange of data with cell phone companies.
To support this initiative, OCSE and States already have begun to look closely at several areas, including unreported incomes of noncustodial parents, automation for case closures, classification/stratification of arrears, and data analysis to help with decision making about where to focus resources. Of course, OCSE will continue its efforts and commitments in the critical areas of fatherhood, healthy marriage and Access and Visitation, which help bring families equally important support of another kind.
I have asked our Regional Offices to engage with States and Tribes to identify areas for re-focused attention that might be particularly relevant for given jurisdictions. I encourage you to work closely with the Regional Offices, sharing your ideas and raising questions that can help move this initiative forward.
It will take all of us working together in concert with our partners and our customers to realize the outcome stated in goal #4 of our National Strategic Plan: "All children in IV-D cases receive financial support from parents as ordered."
If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Office.
Thank you for your involvement and commitment to this important initiative.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers