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Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement Security Initiatives

DCL-99-99

Published: September 20, 1999
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Types:
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)
Tags:
Safeguarding

TO:    ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS

RE:    Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement Security Initiatives

Dear Colleague:

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has initiated a major new program that is designed to raise awareness about the importance of security to the child support enforcement program. With the child support community under constant scrutiny regarding privacy issues, it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant regarding security, and OCSE is offering several important new tools to assist States.

The first is The Child Support Program: Securing the Future, a video produced by OCSE that is designed to draw attention to data and physical security issues in child support enforcement, and which is enclosed with this letter. Child support workers are privileged to have access to many powerful databases that provide them with timely and accurate data, which in turn improves our service to the children that we work so hard to support. The video uses real life scenarios and interviews to demonstrate that the careless use of, or unauthorized access to, the data could result in physical harm to the families we serve, and that the data could be used in criminal activities such as fraud and identity theft. The video discusses how protecting the data and ensuring the physical safety of our child support offices are essential to the continuation of our much-needed services. Included with the enclosed video is an edited copy of its script, which may provide you with quotes that are useful in your own security awareness efforts.

In addition to the video, OCSE is offering a six hour, instructor-led, interactive course dealing with the impact of the information age on child support and protecting child support data, protecting caseworkers and clients, and protecting our own private data. OCSE can deliver this course directly to your workers or as a train-the-trainer (TOT) course for your trainers. There is also a 1½-hour security course designed specifically for child support managers. This course deals with management’s role in establishing security policies and procedures, self-assessment, physical security of child support offices, and protecting child support data.

OCSE staff members are also available to make presentations on security related issues at State and local child support conferences. For more information on this or any of OCSE’s security initiatives, please contact Nancy Bienia at (202) 401-9274 or Danny Markley (202) 401-3440.

With everyone’s help and awareness we can serve the children while protecting the public, our clients, and our child support workers. Once again, let me say that we at OCSE appreciate your continued commitment as we work with you to improve the lives of our nation’s children.

Sincerely,

David Gray Ross
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosures

cc:    Regional Program Managers
        Regional Administrators
        State Training Liaisons
        Outreach Contacts