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Child Support and Court/Judicial Message Exchange Data Model


Published: April 25, 2008
Information About:
Other Public Partners, Courts, State/Local Child Support Agencies
Federal Systems, Data Exchange/Matching
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)
Data Standardization


DATE: April 25, 2008

ATTACHMENT: Creating a CSE and Court/Judicial Data Exchange (Adobe PDF, 856KB)


RE: Child Support and Court/Judicial Message Exchange Data Model

Dear Colleague:

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) sponsors the National Judicial-Child Support Task Force as part of our continued focus on child support and court/judicial collaboration. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is a member of the Task Force. A key initiative of the Task Force is to improve electronic data exchange between a child support agency and the court or judiciary.

Many steps are involved with developing an electronic data exchange. Earlier we sent you Business Case Templates (OCSE DCL-08-01) to assist you in laying out the rationale or the case for an electronic exchange of child support and court/judicial data.

With the business framework established, we now turn to the data exchange model itself. Once again, a workgroup consisting of child support enforcement (CSE) and court/judicial representatives assisted in developing two document models. Enclosed are the two document models that contain the universe of data elements needed for an electronic exchange of information between CSE and the court/judiciary. The first is the Request for Remedy, which the CSE agency would send to the court/judiciary to ask for an action. The second is the Child Support Order, which the court/judiciary would send to CSE describing the action taken. OCSE and the NCSC are pleased to provide these to you.

These document models were developed by the workgroup using the established standard National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and the existing CSE community data model. A diagram (Creating a CSE and Court/Judicial Data Exchange) is also enclosed, which shows how data elements from NIEM and the CSE communities were used to develop CSE and Court/Judicial Document Models and how these models in turn are used to develop an Information Exchange Package (IEP) data exchange. The results are the CSE and Court/Judicial Document Models. Note that these models contain the universe of data elements needed for the electronic exchange of information between CSE and the court/judiciary. This means that CSE and court/judicial exchanges will use a core group of identifiers, then select from the standard elements to customize for their needs.

The two data exchange document models, Request for Remedy and Order, are provided as an XML schema, as a list of components, and as a list of data elements. These models are used to develop specific data exchanges. Each data exchange specifies a series of data elements that can be exchanged between a State child support system and a court system in order to perform a task.

For example, in order to schedule a hearing, a child support system may need to send a limited set of data elements to a court system. These data elements are selected from the list of elements provided in the CSE and Court/Judicial Document Models.

The electronic exchange of data between the court/judiciary and child support entity can improve child support collections and services for children and families. The advantages of automation:

  • Increased Collections - Quicker delivery of child support orders as well as quicker order establishments and enforcement actions lead to timelier initiation of collections.
  • Improved Access to Current Case Information - Alleviates the need for staff (caseworkers, court staff, process servers, attorneys, etc.) to call, fax, or email requests for current case information.
  • Faster Case Intake/Potential for Automated Case Initiation - Reduces data entry time per case and staff time dedicated to data entry.
  • Paper Reduction - Achieves dollar savings in paper, postage, storage, courier, etc. as well as minimizes the staff burden of archiving records and destroying archived records according to State regulations for both child support and the court/judiciary.
  • Error Reduction - Single entry for electronic exchange reduces the opportunity for keystroke error and thus decreases the time spent by CSE and court/judiciary staff correcting data entry errors.

The CSE and Court/Judicial Document Models are being published as information to the child support community. OCSE plans to seek endorsement of the CSE and Court/Judicial Document Models and then encourage their use as a standard for this data exchange. At the same time, the NCSC is pursuing the establishment of these same data models as standards within the judicial community. Together we are seeking to include any new elements within NIEM. This is an important convergence of our communities on one standard. Please provide any input within 30 days of receiving this DCL to Richard Ordowich at richard.ordowich@acf.hhs.gov.

For additional information on the CSE and Court/Judicial Data Model, contact Richard Ordowich.


Margot Bean
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Cc: Regional Program Managers