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Annual Letter - 2013

Tribal Leader Letter

Published: May 14, 2013
Information About:
Tribal Child Support Agencies
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Tribal Leader Letter

Dear Tribal Leader:

The Tribal Child Support Program is really growing!  We now have 50 tribes operating comprehensive tribal child support programs, and 10 more tribes are receiving funding to put a program in place! In 2011, 42 comprehensive tribal programs distributed over $30 million in child support obligations. Collections will continue to increase with the addition of new tribal programs. This is truly an exciting time.

This annual letter is part of my continuous outreach effort and to let you know about the ACF tribal consultation scheduled for 2013.

What are your child support priorities for the year?


We are seeking tribal input into OCSE initiatives for the year. Based on conversations with tribes operating child support programs, we developed a list of initiatives (in no particular order) that we think may be of interest for the upcoming year. Additional suggestions are welcome.

  • Implementation of the Model Tribal System (MTS)
  • A series of webinars and trainings to address the interface of the Tribal TANF and Tribal Child Support Programs
  • Updating the Tribal Intergovernmental Referral Guide - an online tool for child support agencies

Highlights from 2012


As an ACF program, OCSE  is committed to working collaboratively with Native American and American Indian tribes and tribal organizations and to engage in consultation with tribal leaders as specified in the HHS and ACF consultation policies.

On March 5-6, 2012, I participated in the ACF consultation session, and OCSE held an additional consultation meeting on March 7, 2012. The purpose of the OCSE consultation was to seek input on changes to an OCSE reporting form. After the initial consultation, we continued to meet with tribal child support directors on changes to the form in a series of conversations.  On October 9, 2012, I invited you to engage in written consultation on the OCSE-75, Tribal Child Support Enforcement Annual Data Report. I sent another letter inviting you to engage in written consultation on the form on March 5, 2013. This reporting form is due to expire in July 2013. The form was published in the Federal Register on May 3, 2013 (78 FR 26052) with a 60-day comment period and will be published one more time with an additional comment period.  Gathering information and working with tribal child support directors on changes to this reporting form is a first step in strengthening tribal reporting.

On March 8-9, 2012, I participated in the Annual HHS Tribal Budget consultation.

I also participated in the ACF Native and Tribal Grantee meeting June 6-8, 2012, ACF's first such meeting. The meeting provided an opportunity for learning and sharing information.  Presentations and workshops by current tribal program grantees highlighted the success of tribal programs.

MTS Implementation


On November 8, 2012, I sent a letter with the status of the Model Tribal System. The installation pilots are complete!  We received positive responses from a number of tribes interested in using the system. We are currently analyzing those responses to develop a customized plan for the nationwide launch of the system. To get the latest information on the MTS please visit our website and read the monthly newsletter, the MTS Flash.

Tribal Innovation Grants


I am writing to share an important update with you regarding our forecasted tribal grant opportunity titled "Tribal Child Support Innovation Grants: Building Family-Centered Services."  As you know, on November 27, 2012, OCSE issued a grant funding forecast titled Tribal Child Support Innovation Grants: Building Family-Centered Services. This forecast noted that we expected to issue competitive grants to tribal IV-D agencies to improve their capacity to administer innovative, family-centered child support services that help parents provide reliable support for their children as they grow up.

At that time, we planned to issue a full funding announcement and receive applications from eligible tribes between April and July of this year, 2013. Unfortunately, OCSE funding has been reduced due to sequester, and therefore we have made the difficult decision to delay the Tribal Innovation Grants. OCSE remains wholly committed to the Tribal Innovation Grants and intends to issue these awards, rather than cancel the program altogether.

Although the delay is unfortunate, we hope that one benefit is that you will have additional time to consider and complete your applications.  We are all very excited about the Tribal Innovation Grant Program and your enthusiastic response. We appreciate your thoughtful participation in the two tribal listening sessions we held this fall, and very much look forward to continuing to work with you on these grants sometime in the future.

I encourage you to visit the grant forecast webpage and to sign up for updates by clicking the box at the top titled "e-mail me when this page is updated".  This forecast site will be updated soon to indicate estimated dates for posting full grant announcement, application deadline, award, and project start.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Jadczak at 202-401-4578 or via email at michelle.jadczak@acf.hhs.gov.

ACF Consultation


The Administration for Children and Families will hold its annual Tribal Consultation Session on July 9 -10, 2013, in Washington, DC. A Notice of Consultation was published in the Federal Register (78 FR 26781) on May 8, 2013. To take advantage of tribal leaders being in town, I blocked off my calendar on July 11 for a day of consultation devoted to Child Support issues.  Please let me know if there are specific issues that you would like to discuss with me during a consultation devoted to tribal child support.

I am committed to addressing your needs as you provide child support services in your tribal community.

Please send any suggestions or comments to Paige Hausburg, Tribal Coordinator, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Division of Regional Operations, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20447.  You may also send comments to the following email address: OCSETribaIConsultation@acf.hhs.gov.

Sincerely,

Vicki Turetsky
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc:  Tribal IV-D Directors
ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers