Release of New Access and Visitation Program Data for Services Provided to Parents in FY 2005
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
ATTACHMENT: Child Access and Visitation Grants: State/Jurisdiction Profiles for FY 2005
DATE: May 8, 2007
TO: All State IV-D Directors All State Child Access and Visitation Program Coordinators
RE: Release of New Access and Visitation Program Data for Services Provided to Parents in FY 2005 (October, 2004 – September, 2005)
I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the attached document, “Child Access and Visitation Grants: State/Jurisdiction Profiles for FY 2005.”
The goal of this $10 million per year, legislatively-mandated grant program is “…to enable states to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate non-custodial parents’ access to and visitation of their children…” Allowable services include: mediation, development of parenting plans, counseling, parent education, visitation enforcement (supervised visitation and neutral drop-off), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.
This report is divided into three sections:
- Section I: Overview;
- Section II: National Data Trends; and
- Section III: State/Jurisdiction Profiles.
This document highlights access and visitation services provided by States to over 68,000 parents during October 1, 2004 – September 30, 2005. In addition, this report also includes information on the socio-economic characteristics of parents served and, of particular importance, linkages to state, local, court, community, and faith-based service providers.
A summary of the year-in-review is as follows:
- Number of Parents Served: Over 68,800 parents were served in FY 2005.
- State Efforts Focused on Unmet Child Access Needs of Unmarried Parents: The largest group of parents served were unmarried parents (41%) with divorced parents the second largest group (24%). Approximately 17% of parents were separated, and 13% reported they were married to each other.
- Majority of Clients are Low-Income: Continuing the trend of the last several years, the majority of parents served earned less than $25,000. These parents are less likely to afford the services of a mediator and/or lawyer to resolve parenting disputes over access and visitation.
- Number of Parents Showing Increased Parenting Time: In FY 2005, 21, 874 parents had increased parenting time with their children compared to 18,323 in FY 2004. This is nearly a 20% increase.
The Access and Visitation program was an important feature of our 16th National Child Support Enforcement Conference, held September 11 – 13, 2006. Over the course of the two and-a-half day meeting, State Child Access Program Coordinators and Federal OCSE staff attendees reviewed FY 2005 data trends.
Given that our two programs often serve the same children and families, I thank all of you for recognizing the need for program collaboration. This report is evidence that our joint partnership is working to provide access services to those who need them.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: ACF Regional Administrators
OCSE Regional Program Managers