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1115 Grants Awarded in FY 2009

Published: October 1, 2009
Information About:
1115 Grants
Types:
Grants, Promising Practices
Tags:
Competitive Grant

California

California Department of Child Support Services

“IV-A/IV-D Program Collaboration: Identifying Best Practices and Strategies to Serve Our Shared Families through a University Partnership”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Partnership to Strengthen Families: Child Support Enforcement/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/University Partnership Demonstration Project.” Under this grant the California Departments of Child Support Services (DCSS) and California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will identify and prioritize research questions and will partner with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) for data analysis and special studies. The initial focus of the partnership will be to understand the relationship between child support and welfare use, building on research conducted in other States and best practices, and to analyze California child support and TANF data systems to develop a research plan.

The grant objectives are to improve the financial well-being of children and increase self-sufficiency in families; increase the accuracy, timeliness and quality of program data collected, entered, and exchanged; improve the speed, efficiency and accuracy of services to customers; and build an ongoing and sustainable collaboration among the State and local child support and welfare agencies.

Grant Number:90FD0158
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::9/30/2009 - 2/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Florida

Florida Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement

“CSE Prisoner Reentry Collaboration Project”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” Child Support Enforcement joined an existing partnership between the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) and Operation New Hope, Inc. (ONH), to implement a Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) that provides comprehensive reentry services to non-violent, non-sexual, soon-to-be-released offenders in Duval County. The project is designed to reduce recidivism by addressing individual offender needs, providing targeted services and coordinating intense pre-release and post-release services that will assist offenders in their transition from prison to their community. Part of the successful reentry includes offenders being able to develop safe, healthy and responsible family and parent-child relationships. Providing child support is a key element of positive family bonding and financial security.

Jacksonville, Florida, which is a part of Duval County, has the highest rate of inmates convicted of murder and ranks sixth out of 67 counties for recidivism in Florida. The FDOC is the third largest correctional system in the country. The poverty rate in Duval County, according to the 2000 census, was 12.4 percent. Unemployment for the county has risen to 9.5 percent as of February, 2009. For the age group 25-34, re-offenses occur at a 47 percent rate within 48 months.

The CSE Prisoner Reentry Collaboration is housed at the Baker Correction Institution (male prisoners) and Lowell Correctional Institution (female prisoners) where it will serve male and female inmates age 18 and older, convicted in and/or returning to Jacksonville (Duval County) with open child support cases. As of April, 2009, 108 inmates completed the pre-release component of the PRI program. Under this expanded program, pre-release activities will include educational outreach addressing the importance of establishing paternity and child support as well as the importance of both parents being actively involved in their children’s lives. The CSE Case Manager will coordinate with Operation New Hope on the post-release activities.

The goals of the project are for all children to have established parentage and all children in IV-D cases to receive financial support from parents as ordered.

Grant Number:90FD0143
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Georgia

Georgia Department of Human Services, Office of Child Support Services

“Problem-Solving Court Program”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” The Georgia Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) will use a Problem-Solving Court (PSC) model to address the causes of non-payment in child support cases and the challenges of non-paying, noncustodial parents in Carroll County. Current enforcement in Carroll County does not produce the result the court seeks for the time and expenses generated and this population requires frequent court interventions.

The PSC program is guided by a collaboration of the Carroll County Superior Court (CCSC), OCSS, and Georgia’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Previously identified concerns for non-payment include illiteracy, mental health problems, substance abuse, criminal histories and/or unemployment. Additionally, the court finds that many of the noncustodial parents are going through a cycle of nonpayment, incarceration, release from jail and then nonpayment again. This program seeks to assist up to 60 participants by employing the problem-solving court model including the use of a court services coordinator who will direct the child support obligor to the appropriate community resources after a thorough assessment.

Under this PSC program, it is expected that the participants will restore to health, become job ready and increase parenting time. Additionally, the families will experience increased emotional support, medical coverage and child support payments.

Grant Number:90FD0156
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/30/2009 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Iowa

Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Support Recovery Unit

“Linking Child Support with the Iowa Prisoner Reentry Initiative”


This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” This project will augment the Iowa Prisoner Reentry Initiative (IPRI) goal to improve community safety by providing pre-release services, successful transition planning, and aftercare services for offenders released from state institutions to the Second Judicial District. The Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) plans to enhance reentry efforts underway by integrating child support case management services and parenting education classes into the IPRI rural service delivery case management model. Participants will: 1) learn the value of both parents connecting emotionally with their child; 2) learn the importance of financially supporting their child; 3) learn successful communication methods; 4) increase visitation with their child; and 5) make consistent and regular payments of support.

The Second Judicial District is the largest geographic district in Iowa consisting of 22 rural counties. Eight thousand seven hundred and sixty-five (8,765) offenders are currently being held in Iowa prisons. Eight hundred, forty-one (841, or 10.4%) offenders were committed from counties within the Second Judicial District. In FY2003, offenders from the Second District were returned to prison within 3 years at a rate of 33.4 percent. The average child support delinquency was $10,328 for each child support case in which the payor was incarcerated, according to SFY2008 data.

During the project it is anticipated that 250 offenders will receive parenting education and noncustodial offenders owing child support will receive additional case management services to enable them to meet their child support obligations.

Grant Number:90FD0144
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Kansas

Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services

“Kansas Corrections & Child Support Collaborative”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” A part-time Child Support Enforcement Specialist liaison will be housed in the Reception and Diagnostic Unit (RDU) at the Lansing Correctional Facility. The specialist will serve as a part of a comprehensive plan to establish risk reduction and reentry services statewide.

The Lansing Correctional Facility, the largest prison in the Kansas prison system, currently has an information session conducted as part of release planning/orientation where child support is addressed. Two other Kansas prisons have Family Specialists on site to provide information about child support obligations, work with offenders to address arrearage and monthly payments and share information about any family issues being addressed by child welfare workers, foster care, etc. This project will provide the staff to deliver additional child support services that the other Kansas prison facilities presently have in place.

The outcomes of this project include: 1) identifying 100 percent of persons in prison or under post-release supervision who are known to the child support system; 2) increasing by 25 percent the rate of paternity establishments for parents entering prison; 3) increasing by 25 percent pending detainers for child support cases resolved prior to release; 4) increasing by 10 percent child support paid by persons who go to prison; and 5) developing a training lesson plan that provides an overview of the Child Support Enforcement system and training of trainers for all Kansas Department of Corrections skills developers.

Grant Number:90FD0145
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Kentucky

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department of Income Support, Child Support Enforcement

“Kentucky CSE Collaboration with Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and Legal Aid Society”

This 17-month grant responds to 2009 Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Under this grant, Kentucky Child Support Enforcement, Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and the Legal Aid Society will use inter-organizational collaboration and technological innovations to develop online legal information, automated forms and other systems to improve the access, timeliness and accuracy of service delivery to those who represent themselves (pro se) in the child support process. As the recession has led to increases in the number of persons - custodial and noncustodial parents - who need child support services, it is imperative that user friendly self-service options be made available to expedite IV-D and court access.

This project, by directing pro se customers to off-site services, which would include tutorials on child support processes and access to ready-made forms and child support worksheet calculators, would considerably decrease not only calls and visits, but also parent or guardian wait time in the office and appointment time if the form needed was already completed. In turn, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office caseworker time will be used more effectively and efficiently.

The primary object of this demonstration project is to create a library of online document assembly child support forms to streamline the way people in Jefferson County apply for and use child support services. Supporting objectives are:


•Develop online video tutorials that educate users on the child support process, addressing what to expect, how to file and common questions.
•Implement a pilot project between the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and Legal Aid Society, where Legal Aid would dedicate use of their Self-help Center to alleviate some of the strain felt by the state’s largest child support office.
•Evaluate the pilot project in-depth to determine its efficacy for statewide use.
Grant Number:90FD0149
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/30/09 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Social Services

“The Effectiveness of TANF-Funded Fatherhood Programs on Child Well-Being in Louisiana (both financially and educationally)”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Partnership to Strengthen Families: Child Support Enforcement/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/University Partnership Demonstration Project.” Under this grant, the Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) will partner with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning to build internal capacity to form interagency collaborations using sophisticated data analyses that lead to innovative ways of making data-driven decisions for establishing strategies to fulfill common goals and objectives.

The grant objectives are to review how data is collected, shared and analyzed for clients served by both agencies to shape program interventions and outcomes that increase child support; examine the process to evaluate the effectiveness of TANF-funded fatherhood programs that help non-custodial fathers support their children financially and emotionally; examine shared data on the financial, educational and other key characteristics of shared clients and the interface with data profiling the academic performance of clients’ school-aged children; develop strategies that improve program services and outcomes; develop a plan to share analyzed data with multiple government agencies to increase child support; and convene other agency leaders and their information technology staff to expand the interagency data collaboration partnership to leverage limited resources and increase the self-sufficiency of all clients.

Grant Number:90FD0160
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::9/30/2009 - 2/28/2011 (Extended to 6/30/2011)


Maryland

Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA)

“Excellence through Evaluation: Assessing Addressing and Achieving - An Enhanced Partnership to Strengthen Maryland’s Families”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Partnership to Strengthen Families: Child Support Enforcement/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/University Partnership Demonstration Project.” Under this grant the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA), in conjunction with its community partner, the Center for Urban Families (CFUF) and its university partner, the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being (CRFCFW) at Columbia University, proposes to enhance a CSEA/TANF locally designed community based navigation service helping low-income, non-custodial fathers operate within the City’s child support enforcement system. The goal of the demonstration partnership is to increase fathers’ involvement with their children while also increasing the City’s number of honored child support orders, the level of child support compliance and participation in the City’s arrearage reduction efforts.

The grant objectives are to increase the scope of an existing partnership between the Baltimore child support agency and a well-regarded local responsible fatherhood program to include the Baltimore TANF agency in ways that reduce TANF intake errors for locating Non-Custodial Parents (NCPs) and increase the number of NCPs with children on TANF who are receiving employment and other TANF-related benefits; increase child support enforcement performance outcomes; and produce a study that determines the feasibility of conducting a random assignment evaluation.

Grant Number:90FD0154
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::9/30/2009 - 2/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Maryland

Maryland Department of Human Resources, Child Support Enforcement

Administration “Survive and Thrive”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Survive and Thrive will operate in Prince George’s County. The project will assist noncustodial parents who receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits to become reemployed and thereby able to resume full payment of child support. After the receipt of UIB for a period of 3 months or more the individuals will obtain a review, and if appropriate, a modification of their child support orders; family mediation will be facilitated, where necessary.

The number of unemployed individuals in Prince George’s County has increased over 53 percent from 2007 to 2009. The Prince George’s County Office of Child Support Enforcement (PGCOCSE) is the largest state-administered child support local office in Maryland and the second largest jurisdiction (second to Baltimore City) in total caseload size, managing over 49,000 active cases and representing approximately 25 percent of the State’s child support caseload.

The Maryland Department of Human Resources/Child Support Enforcement Administration and PGCOCSE will partner with the Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR) One-Stop Career Center, the Prince George’s County Government/Office of Community Relations/Community Mediation, and the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. The Project team, consisting of a local Project Manager and 5 staff persons, will manage the caseload, modify orders, complete data entry, assess the project participants, and facilitate mediation where there is a need.

Grant Number:90FD0164
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/30/2009 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Massachusetts

State of Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division

“Developing and Testing a Streamlined Modification Process for Newly Unemployed Obligors”

This 17-month grant project responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Under this grant, the State of Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), Child Support Enforcement Division will collaborate with the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court to develop and implement enhanced outreach efforts and a streamlined modification process for newly unemployed noncustodial parents (NCPs) in the IV-D child support caseload. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts has risen from 5.1 to 8.6 percent in the past year. Modification activity for 2009 is projected to be 8 percent higher than in 2008, with the number of modified orders reaching 18,000 for the state.

The project objectives are:

•Identify and contact NCPs who have recently become unemployed and provide them with information about how to file a request for modification. When appropriate DOR will refer the noncustodial parent to a local workforce program.
•Set up interagency task force (DOR and the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court) to develop a streamlined modification process that is expected to include simplified notice procedures (i.e., notice of hearing date with service of summons), earlier hearing dates, if possible, and case conferencing to facilitate agreement between the parties and limit the need for court hearings. The process will be tested with unemployed NCPs in Bristol County where the unemployment rate has increased from 6.9 to 11.5 percent in the past year.
•Develop a process and outcome evaluation that will include comparing rates of requests for modification, time frames associated with the review process, and outcomes under current procedures and the new simplified procedures.
Grant Number:90FD0157
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::09/30/09 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division

"Health Care/Medical Support in Child Support Enforcement"

This 12-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Health Care/Medical Support in Child Support Enforcement: Reform Strategy Grants.” The goal of this grant is to analyze the impact of state health care reform and medical support on increasing health care coverage for children and develop future strategies to increase health care coverage for children in Massachusetts. To achieve this goal, a team will be formed with Massachusetts Child Support Division as the lead and will include members from MassHealth (Medicaid), Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and others as needed. With the assistance of a health care policy expert, the team will analyze data to determine the extent to which health care reform and medical support have increased the number of children with health insurance. The team will develop strategies to increase health care coverage for children in Massachusetts. The team will strategize about how the Massachusetts experience with health care reform can inform the national debate. The team will make recommendations to improve inter-agency coordination and communication and to strengthen the role of child support in maximizing and sustaining health care coverage for children.

Grant Number:90FD0162
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:: 09/30/2009-09/30/2010 (Extended to 9/29/2011)


Massachusetts

Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division

“Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in the IV-D Caseload”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects that Provide Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in the IV-D Caseload.” This project is collaboration between the Massachusetts Child Support Enforcement Division of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court to provide case management services to unwed parents who are establishing initial support obligations in the Title IV-D caseload of Hampden County, Massachusetts. A project manager/screener at the court will conduct brief assessments with unwed parents who are at the court for an initial order for child support. The screening will identify problems (such as unemployment or underemployment, substance abuse, and/or parental conflict) that unwed noncustodial parents have that might reduce their chances of supporting their children both emotionally and financially. The screener will convey this information to DOR litigation staff who will notify the Court of any recommended services. The Court may order parents to participate in the recommended programs. The project will also have a probation case manager who will work with parents to develop parenting plans and monitor compliance with referrals to key services.

Factors leading to the need for such services are: the continually increasing percentages of unwed parents in the caseload; evidence that unwed parents face barriers in meeting the emotional and financial needs of their children; and promising results in other ventures similar to this project. In 1970, just over 10 percent of all births were to unmarried women. In 1990 the figure was 28 percent. It is estimated that births to unmarried women in 2005 were at 36.9 percent. From 1992 until 2007 the IV-D paternity establishment caseload more than tripled from 515,393 to 1.7 million. Census figures estimate that half of the unwed mothers who gave birth in the past year were living below the poverty level. Effects on the child of being in a single family household include lower educational attainment, poorer performance in school, higher incidence of behavioral problems occasionally leading to juvenile delinquency, low self-esteem, and higher levels of stress.

The project proposes to offer community-based services in all areas of need that will assist the project families. It is anticipated that: educational levels will rise; housing, transportation, employment, drug/alcohol and criminal problems will decrease; and appropriate relationships, parenting and contact with their children will improve. Additionally, the court, as a partner in ordering and monitoring the establishment of paternity and child support orders between these unwed parents, will increase the likelihood of participation in the project.

Grant Number:90FD0141
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Michigan

Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Child Support

"Medical Child Support Strategies"

This 12-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Health Care/Medical Support in Child Support Enforcement: Reform Strategy Grants.” The goal of this grant is to improve health care coverage and medical support for children in Michigan by enhancing collaborative activities with federal, state, and county agencies. A team will be formed to achieve this goal, which will be staffed and managed by the Michigan Office of Child Support (OCS), but will also include staff from the Department of Community Health, the Department of Information Technology, the State Court Administrative Office, the Friend of the Court, the Prosecuting Attorney, private insurance carriers, and county health departments as needed. A statewide strategic plan will be developed to improve health care coverage and medical support for children in Michigan that will include short term projects, such as improving data sharing between Medicaid and IV-D, developing a chart of different types of health care coverage available to children in Michigan, and conducting outreach to insurance companies, employers, and IV-D parents. One of the most important aspects of this proposal is to identify the population of children within the Michigan OCS program who need health care coverage and medical support services, since OCS currently does not have an effective way to do this.

Grant Number:90FD0161
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:: 09/30/2009-09/30/2010 (Extended to 12/31/2010)


Michigan

Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Child Support

“Problem-Solving Child Support Court Project”

This 17-month grant project responds to 2009 Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Under this grant, the Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Child Support (OCS) will implement a holistic services approach to child support enforcement and collection. The services will include psychological services, anger management, mental health services, transportation, housing, job training and job placement. The project will serve “at risk” families, especially those who are struggling during this economic crisis (i.e., numerous factors including current or recent unemployment) to meet the challenges in providing for the emotional and financial needs of their children.

The project site will be Genesee County, Michigan. The family division of that county’s circuit court recently established a problem-solving court docket for child support payers who failed to make court-ordered child support payments. The Genesee County Problem-Solving Court was implemented to assist non-resident parents in breaking barriers that impaired their abilities to support their children.

The project objectives are:

•Strengthen the parent/child relationship by referring families for services to build stability in the family and improve the outlook for self-sufficiency.
•Increase the probability of a parent securing employment, both at the start of the child support case and whenever there is a change in financial circumstances by providing resources for job training and job placement.
•Address custody and parenting time immediately rather than waiting until there is a dispute. This will increase the opportunity for a parent to spend time with his or her child.
•Modify court orders to reflect the parent’s current child support and parenting time situation. This should reduce the need for enforcement procedures later.
Grant Number:90FD0150
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::09/30/09 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division

“CO-PARENT COURT: A Problem Solving Court for Children and Families”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects that Provide Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in the IV-D Caseload.” The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) developed Co-Parent Court to address the barriers that fragile families have to becoming successful parents in Hennepin County, Minnesota. This innovative partnership between the Hennepin County Family Court and community service providers will serve unwed parents in establishing court-ordered paternity. Services will include individual assessment and attention by family court facilitators, social services tailored to the needs of parents and children through partnering community agencies, conflict resolution, and co-parent education. The objectives of this project are to: target unwed parents to establish paternity and provide appropriate social services; improve parenting skills, relationships and paternal participation; determine child support payments, custody and visitation issues; and improve outcomes for children by helping unmarried parents work together to parent their children. The project will provide services to both parents, offering intensive case management and a full range of needed services to families with commitments from local foundations for partial financial support.

Hennepin County (Minneapolis) has experienced an increase of more than 35 percent in the number of children born to unmarried parents. For young parents or parents of color, the rate is substantially higher - 45 percent of children born to fathers less than 30 years of age were born to unmarried parents and 85 percent of the African American women in Minneapolis giving birth in 2007 were unmarried. Hennepin County is a large urban county with a diverse population of over 1 million people. The County faces a number of challenges including poverty, unemployment, and broken families. The percentage of residents below poverty with related children under 18 years (female householder, no husband present) is 32.6 percent in Hennepin County and 40 percent in Minneapolis according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

It is anticipated that Co-Parent Court will improve outcomes for children by increasing the ability of their parents to nurture and support them. Measurable improvements are anticipated in paternity establishment, child support payments, parenting skills, relationships and visitation.

Grant Number:90FD0140
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Human Services, Minnesota Child Support Enforcement Division

“Mind the Gap”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” Minnesota’s “Mind the Gap” project addresses the barriers offenders must overcome to become employed and consistent payors of child support, and the lack of collaborative practices to bridge that gap.

Minnesota will release 35,000 individuals to communities in the next five years. Returning offenders are often concentrated in neighborhoods that lack economic opportunities and experience high rates of violence and gang activity (80 percent of offenders return to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and over 50 percent return to the two counties of Hennepin and Ramsey). This project will be performed in these counties.

On a percentage basis, Minnesota diverts more of its offenders away from state prisons and into county-based community corrections than any other state. This means that inmates who go to, and leave prison, typically have more serious or chronic issues. Multiple social deficits impact their reentry: chemical dependency (90 percent) and mental illness are common. Therefore, multiple services are needed to address these and other needs of offenders.

To improve service delivery and supports for returning offenders, Minnesota has implemented a strategic statewide plan, the Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP), a collaborative effort of 20 key state and local agencies under the direction of the commissioner of corrections. A primary goal of MCORP is to align Minnesota’s many reentry programs into an integrated and coordinated whole. The inclusion of the Minnesota Child Support Enforcement Division in MCORP assists in building lasting collaborative relationships between state and local corrections, community partners and successful reentry of offenders.

This project will build a multidisciplinary collaboration to actively engage offenders and improve outcomes for families, child support agencies, and the department of corrections. Specialized case management services including a multidisciplinary approach, identifying and using best practices to help offenders reintegrate into communities and support their families, will provide improved policies and procedures for working with offenders. Information sharing will increase effectiveness and efficiency in processing cases for offenders pre- and post-release. By minding the gap, the effectiveness of the child support program is enhanced and families benefit through improved paternity establishment rates, setting of realistic child support orders, improved voluntary compliance, and less accumulation of arrears. Project aspirations include an increase in collections of current support and a decrease in arrears balances.

Grant Number:90FD0147
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Nevada

Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, Health and Human Services

“Intervening for Success”

This 36-month grant responds to 2009 Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the PAID Initiative.” The Clark County District Attorney Family Support Division will promote prompt and continuous communication with noncustodial parents (NCPs) through early intervention techniques that could increase order establishment by stipulation (i.e., consent orders) and encourage NCPs to make not only an initial payment but also sustained payments.

The objectives of the projects are:


•Evaluate early intervention techniques (i.e., phone calls, written communication, or face-to-face conversation at order establishment, pre-enforcement and enforcement) that are likely to encourage NCPs to stipulate to an order, make a voluntary first payment before automatic income withholding takes effect and continue payments in a sustainable manner.
•Develop prototypes of early intervention techniques reflecting best practice elsewhere and recognizing the unique features of Nevada.
•Demonstrate the efficacy and viability of these prototype early intervention techniques.
Grant Number:90FD0136
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/09 - 08/31/2012


Ohio

Ohio Office of Child Support (OCS), Franklin County Child Support

“Pathfinder Services”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” The primary goal of this project is to remove barriers that reentering parents face with respect to the payment of current child support, while improving their family connections through partnerships with public, private, and faith-based organizations. The shared vision is that children of formerly incarcerated parents will have what they need - the emotional and financial support of their parents. Pathfinder will provide direct services and build community partnerships so that parents will: 1) find sustainable employment, and thus make reliable child support payments; 2) obtain useful referrals to meet employment, housing, transportation, parenthood, and health needs; and 3) receive assistance in navigating child support and court systems.

In Ohio, over 350,000 individuals are under some level of correctional management, at a cost of $1.79B annually. Of the over 50,000 prisoners incarcerated by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), an estimated 57 percent will serve less than one year. About 29,000 individuals will be released to Ohio communities within the next year. More than half of these individuals are parents with a child support order. Franklin County, which contains almost 10 percent of the state population, includes the State capital and largest city, Columbus. Approximately one-tenth of formerly incarcerated individuals in Ohio are returning to the Franklin County area this year.

At least 80 parents returning to the Franklin County area will benefit from the intensive case management services provided by Pathfinder during the first year of the project. Services of the project will impact the full caseload of nearly 90,000 child support cases in a positive way by establishing ongoing partnerships and providing staff training and materials that will help with future services.

Grant Number:90FD0142
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Ohio

Ohio Office of Child Support, Cuyahoga County, Child Support Enforcement Agency

“Improving the Financial Well-Being of Children in Cuyahoga County”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Under this grant, the Ohio Office of Child Support, Cuyahoga County, Child Support Enforcement Agency will address non-custodial parents who are in default on their child support orders. Many of those parents now face difficult conditions, a depressed local economy with few job opportunities, significant barriers to employment and an adversarial relationship with the child support agency. These conditions often lead obligors who are struggling but unable to support their families to go underground and withdraw from the system. The new program would proactively intervene in these cases prior to the use of enforcement tools and refer these obligors to employment readiness and placement programs in the community. A successful program will result in fewer suspensions of drivers and professional licenses, an enforcement activity that adds to the barriers to economic stability that obligors face.

The project objectives are:

•Intervene with anyone in default.
•Intervene with obligors when pay source is unemployment, providing support and referral before employment benefits expire.
•Negotiate on phone or in person with obligors in default.
•If obligor does not have income source or resources to pay order then worker offers referral to community employment program.
•Complete negotiation prior to suspension of drivers or professional license to avoid additional barrier.
•If obligor does not follow referral, worker brings obligor in for in-person interview to explore for other barriers that can possibly be relieved through community referrals (i.e., mental health or substance abuse issues).
Grant Number:90FD0155
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::09/30/09 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/28/2012)


Ohio

Ohio Office of Child Support

“Project Rapid Response: Outreach Program to Recently Unemployed Noncustodial Parents in Stark County to Obtain Appropriate Size Orders and Job Search Assistance”

This 17-month grant project responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Under this grant, the Ohio Office of Child Support will create two case manager positions dedicated to contacting recently unemployed noncustodial parents to notify them of their right to a review and adjustment of their order, to guide them through the process of requesting a review and adjustment, assessing if the case qualifies for modification, and then to actually conduct the review and adjustment. A project coordinator position will also be created to work with recently unemployed non-custodial parents to connect them to community resources to assist them in becoming employed. This position will both facilitate the referrals to existing community programs for employment and intensively monitor of the referrals to help guide this population through a sometimes confusing and intimidating system. The success of this project will be analyzed through a comparison to a control group of unemployed non-custodial parents.

The objectives of “Project Rapid Response” are:

•Implement a process to notify recently unemployed non-custodial parents of their right to a review and adjustment of their support order in an effort to have appropriate size support orders in place when incomes change due to the current economic downturn.
•Expedite the review and adjustment process for requests received from recently unemployed non-custodial parents to ensure modifications, when appropriate, happen in a timely manner.
•Provide assistance to recently unemployed non-custodial parents to become gainfully employed by connecting this population to existing resources in the community designed to help find new employment.
Grant Number:90FD0152
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::09/30/09 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 12/31/2011)


Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Services

“Plan 2010: Identifying Medical Child Support Solutions for Oklahoma’s Children”

This 12-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Health Care/Medical Support in Child Support Enforcement: Reform Strategy Grants.” The goal of Plan 2010 is to solve medical support issues and increase health care coverage for children in the Oklahoma IV-D caseload by collecting and analyzing data, identifying obstacles to health care coverage, and developing a collaborative, outcomes-based strategic plan that will overcome these obstacles and create opportunities to increase health care coverage for children. Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS) will expand its current Medical Support Process Improvement Team to include staff from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (which includes OCSS,) the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Insurance Department, the Oklahoma Department of Health, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, representatives of Oklahoma insurance companies, and a custodial parent and noncustodial parent representative. OCSS will contract with the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Public Management to facilitate team meetings, train the team on outcomes-based strategic planning, and lead the team through the strategic plan development process.

Grant Number:90FD0163
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:: 09/30/2009 - 09/30/2010 (Extended to 9/29/2011)


Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Child Support Services

“OCSS Prisoner Reentry Initiative Project (PRI)”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS) proposes to collaborate with two other Federal Prisoner Reentry Initiative grantees (Department of Corrections (DOC) and Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa) in Tulsa to establish and administer a formal program of support for incarcerated noncustodial parents (NCPs) reentering the community so they may find employment, take care of their child support obligations and lead productive lives. The project will be housed in the OCSS West Tulsa office and the grant staff will work with caseloads from the OCSS Tulsa West and Tulsa East offices.

PRI staff will meet with eligible NCPs (prior to or after reentry) to assess their strengths and needs and determine their obstacles to paying child support and barriers to employment. An individualized plan will be developed for the NCP to follow. The plan may include, but is not limited to, assistance in getting necessary training or education, employment-related services (job search, résumé writing, interviewing, etc.), and finding other needed resources such as housing, health care, mental health care, etc. Another component will be to provide transportation for NCPs to and from training job interviews and job sites, either by use of a State vehicle (driven by a State employee) or vouchers for the Tulsa bus system or taxis.

Caseworkers, child support attorneys, administrative court personnel and local office caseworker staff will provide NCPs with assistance in navigating the child support system.

Oklahoma is tied for third place among states for highest per capita incarceration. The state ranks first in the world in per capita incarceration of females and fourth for incarceration of males. Tulsa County had an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in January 2009. An estimated 14.2 percent of the Tulsa County population lives below poverty level, and in 1999, 34.5 percent of those living below the poverty level were families with a single female head of household with related children under 18 years old and no husband present. Each year, Tulsa sends approximately 1,918 offenders into the Oklahoma DOC system (86 percent male, 14 percent female). Additionally, each year, approximately 1,660 offenders reenter the community from DOC. Based on currently available caseload data, OCSS estimates that there are more than 6,000 child support cases with an incarcerated NCP in the state of Oklahoma, which is approximately 3 percent of the entire caseload. In Tulsa County, there are 511 child support cases with an incarcerated NCP and additional offenders released into the Tulsa community may have child support cases in other counties across the state or in other states.

The short-term outcomes this project seeks for NCPs in the OCSS PRI grant population include: an increased understanding of the child support program; an increase in paternity establishments; and attainable child support obligations established. Intermediate-term outcomes sought include an increase in collections and an increase in OCSS collaboration with community organizations assisting NCPs in their reentry in the Tulsa community. The anticipated long-term outcome of this project is that NCPs will achieve successful reentry into the community and meet their child support obligations.

Grant Number:90FD0146
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS)

“Preserving Reliable Support for Children of the Recession: Automation of the Out-of-State Unemployment Insurance Benefits Intercept Process”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” This project will develop an automated process to collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) on open child support cases where the noncustodial parent’s benefits are being paid by another state, thereby ensuring a continuation of reliable support for children’s well-being and helping the noncustodial parents avoid substantial accumulation of child support arrears. This automation will also improve caseworker efficiency and build and strengthen OCSS’ infrastructure to respond to the increasing need for reliable child support.

From January 1 through April 30, 2009, OCSS received $3.9 million from in-state UIB child support payments, which is more than was received the entire calendar year of 2008 in UIB child support payments. In fiscal year 2009, OCSS had only a 12 percent increase in cases with a noncustodial parent living in another state. It is anticipated that the State of Oklahoma will be among the last states to rebound from the recession, with unemployment relief unlikely until the third quarter of 2010. The division has been advised that it may face an additional 7 percent cut before the end of the fiscal year, thus increasing the need for caseworker efficiency.

Grant Number:90FD0151
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/30/2009 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 12/31/2011)


Oregon

State of Oregon Department of Justice, Division of Child Support

“Employer Portal”

This 36-month grant responds to 2009 Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the PAID Initiative.” The Oregon Department of Justice, Division of Child Support (DCS) proposes to update, automate and enhance its technological and business process capacity to address employer noncompliance. This project will also support the national child support goals and objectives for ensuring that children in IV-D caseloads receive the financial support from parents as ordered.

This project takes a comprehensive approach by identifying employers who do not report at all, do not comply with electronic reporting requirements, or do not report information or submit payments in a timely and accurate manner. Three coordinated project activities will increase DCS’ ability to identify and track employer reporting statistics to target improved compliance performance:


•Enhance and modify the existing employer database.
•Enhance and expand DCS’ existing online payment application to create a secure one-stop employer portal through which employers may report new hires and terminations, electronically send payments and respond to withholding and medical support notices initiated by DCS.
•Develop a strategic plan that redeploys staff time recouped from anticipated efficiencies gained through automation of the reporting and reconciliation.
Grant Number:90FD0135
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/09 - 08/31/2011 (Extended to 8-31-2012)


Rhode Island

Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services

“RESTORE: Restoring Opportunities in a Rough Economy (A Rhode Island Statewide Initiative)”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects to Address the Sudden and Prolonged Effect of the Economic Downturn on the IV-D Caseload and Program Operations.” Under this grant, the Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) provides a rapid response to specific, targeted populations who have experienced a change in financial conditions due to the downturn in the economy. As a statewide project it will address an important need of noncustodial parents who were historically paying their child support consistently, and specifically due to job loss and foreclosure, can no longer do so. Rhode Island has the second highest unemployment rate in the country, at 12.4 percent.

Included in the targeted population are noncustodial parents who are veterans returning from deployment without job prospects, the noncustodial parent whose child has been placed with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (social welfare agency) due to a job loss and home foreclosure.

The project seeks to prevent the accumulation of arrears by addressing key challenges of noncustodial parents during this period of economic decline. Utilizing early intervention strategies, such as systematic case management, connecting the families to vital resources and restoring hope, are major project objectives. Anticipated services to be provided include health, education, job opportunities, parenting skills, housing, visitation rights, and modifications of child support orders. Additionally, Project Restore contains the unique feature of also providing services to custodial parents who are negatively impacted by the noncustodial parent’s job loss.

The OCSS already has developed many partnerships with service partners and sister agencies who are ready to assist and collaborate in meeting the project goals. The Rhode Island Fatherhood Collaboration, consisting of 15 state departments, will play a vital role in connecting key resources to the service delivery capacity of Project Restore. OCSS expects to serve approximately 100-200 families during the grant implementation period.

Grant Number:90FD0153
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/30/2009 - 02/28/2011 (Extended to 2/29/2012)


Texas

Texas Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division

“Help Establishing Responsive Orders to Ensure Support for Children in Military Families”

This 36-month grant responds to 2009 Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the PAID Initiative.” The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Child Support Division, will identify and design solutions to the significant financial and emotional support issues that are unique to military families. The project will include statewide efforts to conduct outreach and case identification of military and veteran parents in two pilot sites with large populations of military service members. The primary purpose of the project is to provide these parents with enhanced, family-centered paternity and child support services responsive to the special needs of military families as well as promote early compliance with child support obligations. The goals of the project are to:

•Learn about and better meet the paternity establishment, child support, medical support and parenting time (access and visitation) needs of military/veteran parent and families.
•Increase understanding of and promote early compliance with child support/medical support orders affecting military/veteran families.
•Decrease parental conflict and improve co-parenting skills between military/veteran parents who participate in the project.
•Provide proactive, enhanced customer service to military parents and families.
In addition to the intensive services developed and delivered in the pilot sites, the OAG will concurrently develop public education materials about paternity establishment and child support enforcement for distribution to military members/veterans. The public education resources developed as part of the project will primarily use electronic formats that can easily be inserted in the numerous military family resource Websites, veteran’s program Websites and Texas and other state IV-D agency Websites.

Grant Number:90FD0137
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/09 - 08/31/2012


Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Human Service, Child Support Services

“Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative”

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.” The project will be conducted in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Department of Justice (DOJ) recipients of PRI grants in Davidson County, and Nashville (which is in Davidson County), respectively. Through these projects, Davidson County has developed an extensive set of community collaborations to provide employment-focused services to soon to-be-released and newly released prisoners in pre- and post-release settings. The OCSE grant will enable CSE to hire a liaison to be co-located with the DOL and DOJ projects and to screen for child support issues among participants in those projects, as well as other ex-prisoners who seek reentry services from the Davidson County DOL project, which serves about 3,000 ex-prisoners per year.

The goal is to add child support services to employment-centered projects offered to inmates and ex-offenders in pre- and post-release settings so that these individuals are better able to understand and meet their child support obligations and successfully reintegrate.

Grant Number:90FD0148
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Human Service/Child Support Services (CSE)

"Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in the IV-D Caseload"

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects that Provide Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in the IV-D Caseload.” CSE will be conducting an evaluation project to test strategies to increase child support collections and noncustodial parents’ (NCPs’) regular contact with children by providing family-centered services to never-married parents. Child support establishment workers will conduct brief screenings with all NCPs they meet with and will identify problems such as parenting time, employment, transportation, substance abuse, or mental health. NCPs will be divided into low and high treatment groups. The low treatment group will be given written information about community resources that might be helpful and they will be asked to consent to a telephone interview in six months to see how their case is progressing and whether they have used any community services. The high treatment group will be offered the opportunity to meet with a project case manager immediately who will explain the types of services available and offer to work with the parent to access the appropriate services. The project will be conducted in two urban and one rural setting in Tennessee: Hamilton County (Chattanooga), Davidson County (Nashville), and the 26th Judicial District which includes the counties of Madison, Chester and Henderson. All jurisdictions will expand on the services that parenting coordinators are currently providing to never-married, poor parents establishing child support orders with access and visitation problems.

The Tennessee IV-D population is likely to be never-married and poor. The participating counties have greater percentages of families living below poverty than in the United States as a whole. National statistics show that in 1976 an estimated 17 percent of all single mothers were never-married. Research has also concluded that “unmarried fathers are much less likely than divorced fathers to provide consistent financial support to their children…”

Accomplishments expected from this demonstration grant include: provision of services for a currently underserved population; development of a program that encourages cooperative parental relationships, increased paternal contact, and improvement of custody and visitation agreements among unmarried parents; construction and enhancement of cooperation and collaboration between child support and community resources; and provision of research results to provide future decisions about family-centered services for unmarried, low-income families.

Grant Number:90FD0139
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:: 09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Washington

Washington State Division of Child Support (DCS)

"Focus on the Child: Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in Washington State"

This 36-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Projects that Provide Family-Centered Services for Unwed Parents in the IV-D Caseload.” DCS proposes to assist unwed parents in filing parenting plans. The development and eventual filing of a parenting plan involves coordination among various community entities, including Dispute Resolution Centers (DRCs), Court Facilitators, and DCS. The demonstration project will provide enhancements to services targeted specifically to unwed parents: mediation and parenting plan development; parent education seminars; and referrals to community-based organizations. This grant builds on the foundation of and lessons learned from the Bright Start grant, a Section 1115 demonstration grant that ended on July 31, 2009.

With this grant DCS will add the remainder of all birthing hospitals not a part of the Bright Start grant to the existing statewide Paternity Affidavit Program. The focus area will be the catchment areas of the field offices of Seattle, Olympia, and Spokane and will offer parents the opportunity to complete a parenting plan at little or no cost. Problems identified in working with never-married couples versus divorced parents are: unwed parents are less likely to have had joint problem-solving experiences; some unwed mothers are unwilling to participate in a voluntary process; time intensity of the mediation session proves challenging for parents; and fully subsidized mediation may have devalued the service. Over the last decade research has shown that increased interactions with parents, through family-centered services, can improve parent-child relationships and strengthen child support outcomes.

After serving the expected 500 unwed couples during the three-year period, DCS anticipates: noncustodial parent served will show higher average payment rates than similarly situated parents who are not served; participating parents - custodial and noncustodial - will report that noncustodial parents spend more time with their children after program involvement; and that feasibility and efficacy of IV-D’s role in referring couples to access and visitation resources will be established.

Grant Number:90FD0138
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:: 09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012


Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

“Enhancing the Child Support Policy Knowledge of TANF-Eligible Families and TANF Caseworkers: A Collaborative Strategy for Improving Outcomes for Low-Income Children and Their Families”

This 17-month grant responds to Priority Area: “Partnership to Strengthen Families: Child Support Enforcement/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/University Partnership Demonstration Project.” Under this grant the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families’ Bureau of Child Support (DCF/BCS) and Bureau of Working Families (DCF/BWF), responsible for TANF program administration) will partner with University of Wisconsin researchers at the Institute of Research on Poverty (UW/IRP) to address gaps in child support policy understanding and implementation that have been identified by previous evaluation research. Specifically, the requested assistance will support DCF/BCS and DCF/BWF outreach and training efforts leading to improved information and program access for low-income families applying for TANF and a UW/IRP evaluation of the effectiveness of these efforts.

The grant objectives are to improve the information on child support policy provided to TANF applicants so that they may make more informed decisions regarding program participation and improve the financial well-being of their children; strengthen communication and collaboration among DCF/BCS and DCF/BWF in order to sustain high-quality staff training and provision of appropriate information regarding child support to TANF participants; build on previous collaborations between DCF/BCS, DCF/BWF and UW/IRP to assess the current communication gaps and evaluate the success of the intervention in improving information and improving access to child support and TANF; and establish a formal method of collaboration between the three entities that can be sustained following completion of the demonstration and within the broader organizational structure of DCF.

Grant Number:90FD0159
For Information, contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period::9/30/2009 - 2/28/2011 (Extended to 6/30/2011)