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Washington State Research Project


Published: February 15, 2000


FEB 15, 2000

TO: ALL STATE IV-D Directors

RE: Washington State Research Project

Dear Colleague:

The State of Washington conducted a research project from October 1996 through February 1999. The main focus of this project was to improve collections from hard-to-collect cases, and develop effective collection methods. An internal special collections unit was developed to help increase collections, and developed effective collection techniques that could be documented as best practices and shared with other States.

Although the following barriers occurred it did not interfere with the Special Collections Unit’s (SCU) ability to close approximately 388 cases during this project. These barriers were: non-custodial parents had multiple child support cases ranging from two to twelve, some non-custodial parents were currently and recurrently on public assistance or SSI, and most non-custodial parents had correction records or were incarcerated. This special unit used various collection methods, drew cohort samples, and analyzed the cases. The special collection unit methods received higher payment outcomes than those done by the private collection agency.

Project findings suggest this unit may not improve collections for some current assistance cases. However, an internal unit could still be a valuable tool in pursuing and receiving collections from certain types of hard-to-collect cases. The Division of Child Support will teach its staff negotiation skills in order to continue improving collections and cope with the diversity of these cases.

The enclosed executive summary will give you an overview of the research project, purpose, plan, design, findings, outcomes, and recommendations.


David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosure (not available online)

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