OCSE proposes and implements national policy for the child support program. We provide guidance and training to help states and tribes develop and operate their individual programs according to federal laws and regulations.
Federal Laws & Regulations
The following laws and regulations provide policy and program requirements related to the child support program.
Policy Guidance Overview
OCSE provides program requirements, program information, policy guidance, and program instructions using several types of documents.
- Action Transmittal (AT) describes actions that programs must take to comply with new and amended federal laws (available from 1975)
- Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) conveys general information on program activities (available from 1989)
- Information Memorandum (IM) provides information on program practices that may be useful for program improvement (available from 1989)
- Policy Interpretation Question (PIQ) responds formally to policy inquiries (available from 1999)
- International Policy transmits guidance on international child support (available from 1993)
- Tribal Policy provides guidance on tribal child support (available from 1995)
2007 Policy Documents
- December 31, 2007Provides an index of all active ATs, IMs, PIQs, and DCLs issued from January 2005 to December 2007December 13, 2007Provides a copy of the OIG report on child support arrearages as well as information on debt compromiseDecember 10, 2007Report compares the participation of minorities in the child support program using a Census Bureau national survey
Partners for Fragile Families Demonstration Projects: Publications Analyze Implementation and OutcomesDecember 10, 2007Three reports evaluating the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects regarding father involvementDecember 7, 2007Reminds States to submit the OCSE-157 report for FY 2007 and resubmit incomplete or unreliable data for FY 2006December 5, 2007Reminds Tribes to submit their OCSE-75 reportNovember 28, 2007Annouces the release of the Child Support Enforcement Annual Report to Congress for FY 2004November 27, 2007Transmits revised and approved financial reporting forms and instructions - OCSE-396A and OCSE-34ANovember 13, 2007Provides a copy of the Techniques for Effective Management of Program OperationsOctober 26, 2007Releases a guide to support efforts to improve the effectiveness of document management within child support agenciesOctober 26, 2007Provides revised standardized income withholding form (IWO) and instructions as required by PRWORAOctober 19, 2007Discusses the Federal tax refund offset changes for non-minor children in non-TANF casesOctober 18, 2007PAID guides #1 - #4 providing details on income withholding, case closure, review and adjustment, and FIDMOctober 12, 2007Information on how child welfare staff can access FPLS information via their State's Parent Locator ServiceOctober 5, 2007Provides a copy of a report titled: Using Automated Income Data to Establish and Modify Child Support OrdersOctober 4, 2007Discuss OCSE's plans to implement the insurance match and provides a state participation formOctober 3, 2007Provides a list of acronyms and definitions of terms used by child support workersSeptember 28, 2007Encourages State and local child support offices to provide information to individuals and families regarding the EITC programSeptember 24, 2007Issuance from the Food Stamp Agency concerning collection of fees for the Child Support Enforcement ProgramSeptember 24, 2007Lessons learned from 1115 and SIP grants involving collaboration between child support agencies and courtsSeptember 24, 2007Summary of key findings from ten State IV-D agency medical support demonstration projectsSeptember 10, 2007Provides information to State child support enforcement and child welfare agencies to improve interagency communicationsSeptember 5, 2007Data submission requirements for the Federal FY 2007 data reliability audits (DRAs)August 24, 2007Requests assistance in reviewing the case activity statements for the next module of QUICK
Revised Instructions for Requesting an Exemption from the Mandatory Laws and Procedures in Section 466 (2007)August 24, 2007Revises procedures States must follow when applying for an exemption from mandatory program laws and proceduresAugust 22, 2007Announces four new Federal level international reciprocity agreements on child supportAugust 2, 2007Request for comments on the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) Part AJuly 23, 2007Follow up to AT-06-05 regarding child support provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection ActJuly 20, 2007Reminds IV-D programs of the requirement to submit the two signed certification lettersJuly 13, 2007Establishment of a core set of CSENet interstate transactions to improve electronic interstate communications
Assignment and Distribution of Child Support Under Sections 408(a)(3) and 457 of the Social Security ActJuly 11, 2007Provides guidance on the assignment and distribution of child support collections affected by DRA changesJuly 10, 2007Proposed changes to the standard Federal forms used in interstate casesJuly 9, 2007Summary of the 2006 medical support collaboration meetingsJuly 9, 2007Contains the recommended format and instructions for completing annual State CSE Program self-assessment reportsJune 21, 2007Declaration of reciprocity and official reference documents for cases with El SalvadorJune 18, 2007Guidance for corresponding with USPS regarding USPS NCP/employee medical support-related questionsJune 8, 2007Contains instructions for completing Tribal Child Support Enforcement Annual Data Report, Form OCSE-75May 30, 2007PAID practices tool to assist States to improve their performance in the areas of current support and arrearsMay 24, 2007Provides a copy of a new report, titled: "Child Access and Visitation Programs: Participant Outcomes"May 24, 2007Enhancements to FPLS including CSENet, FCR, Federal Offset System, and QUICKMay 18, 2007Addresses questions on the coordination between TANF and child support enforcement since the enactment of the DRA of 2005
FFP for State Automated Systems Costs for Service Agreements; Submitting Tribal Cases for Federal Tax Refund and Requests to FPLSMay 11, 2007Clarifies policy on FFP for state system service agreements and using tax refund offsets and FPLS locate in tribal cases
FFP for State Systems Related to Tribal IV-D Programs: Cases for Federal Tax Refund Offset and FPLS RequestsMay 11, 2007Answers questions related to Tribal IV-D Programs: FFP for use of State Systems, Tax Refund Offset, FPLSMay 10, 2007IV-D agencies sharing child support enforcement information including FPLS, with State IV-B and IV-E agenciesMay 8, 2007Provides an updated version of "Automated Systems for Child Support Enforcement: A Guide for States"May 8, 2007Provides a copy of the Child Access and Visitation Grants: State/Jurisdiction Profiles for FY 2005May 7, 2007Announces the changes to the lines used in the calculation of the paternity establishment percentageApril 25, 2007Provides the guidelines for the passport denial programApril 20, 2007Answers questions about moving from a start-up program to a comprehensive Tribal IV-D programApril 20, 2007Discusses the FPLS technical infrastructure changes and transition periodApril 10, 2007Provides a successful practices guide to improve the interface between State Vital Records agencies and statewide CSE systemApril 10, 2007Summaries of data analysis conducted on nonmarital birth data, modification thresholds, and payments by low-income parentsMarch 15, 2007Highlights promising practices child support and TANF agencies may consider to improve collaborationMarch 12, 2007Releases an updated publication to help Tribal and State courts and child support professionals in managing child support casesMarch 8, 2007Provides a copy of a new report that describes how to effectively respond to child access needs of noncustodial parentsFebruary 27, 2007Announces the national initiative, called PAID, to prevent and reduce arrearsFebruary 22, 2007Requests comments on the proposed changes to the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child SupportFebruary 20, 2007Discusses the information provided in the technical guide on undistributed collectionsFebruary 13, 2007Provides a Caseworker's Guide to assist with the implementation of federal-level international child support agreementsFebruary 6, 2007Recouping medical and birthing expenses and past-due medical support via the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset ProgramFebruary 2, 2007Solicites best practices and good ideas that address the specified topics related to child support enforcement
NPRM: Implementing Provisions of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act as Amended by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005January 24, 2007Announces NPRM for DRA-required changes regulating $25 fee, mandatory review and adjustment for TANF recipients, etc.January 22, 2007Provides the locator coding recommendations for tribal and international child support casesJanuary 17, 2007A summary of successful child support program and organizational practicesJanuary 12, 2007Provides the final Federal Offset Collections Report for processing year 2006, OCSE Cycle 2006-25Last Reviewed: June 15, 2016