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FY2005 Annual Report to Congress

Office of Child Support Enforcement

Published: December 1, 2005
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies, Tribal Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Federal Reporting, OCSE-157 Annual Data Report, OCSE-34A Quarterly Report of Collections, OCSE-396A Financial Report
Types:
Research & Data, Annual Reports to Congress

Table of Contents

Appendices

Foreword

It is a pleasure for me to offer this 26th Annual Report to the Congress on the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program. The report highlights the operation and accomplishments of the Program for fiscal year (FY) 2005.

The CSE Program continues to make progress toward ensuring that child support payments are a reliable source of income for children and families. In September 2005, the program hosted its 15th National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference, marking 30 years since the program’s inception. We are pleased with the progress and accomplishments over this period and look forward to continued progress in the future.

Our commitment to dependent children in the child support caseload continues to strengthen through the development and implementation of new and improved methods and measures to hold their parents accountable for their support. We look forward to continued partnership with States, jurisdictions, Tribes, and other partners who share the mutual goal of improving the well-being and support of children.

Michael O. Leavitt

Background

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is part of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The mission of ACF is to promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, youths, and communities.

The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program, which is a Federal/State/Tribal/local partnership that operates under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, functions in all States and territories through State/county Social Services Departments, Attorney General Offices, or Departments of Revenue. Its purpose is to ensure that assistance in obtaining support, including financial support of both parents and medical support, is available to children by locating parents, establishing paternity and support obligations, monitoring and enforcing obligations, and collecting and distributing child support collections.

Child support services are available to any custodial or noncustodial parent or any other person with custody of a child who has a parent living outside of the home, and these services are automatically available to families receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, the Medicaid Program, and the

Title IV-E Foster Care Program. Families seeking government child support services who are not recipients of aid under the public assistance programs may apply for child support services through their State, local, or Tribal agency running the program.

Child support collected on behalf of families receiving TANF is used to reimburse the State and Federal governments for TANF payments made to the families. The collections in excess of the amount needed to repay the government for public assistance payments are sent to TANF and former TANF families. Child support payments that are collected on behalf of families never on TANF are passed in full to these families, which have only received child support payments and no other aid under public assistance programs.

Even though the child support mission has remained the same since its inception–locate noncustodial parents, establish paternities, and establish and enforce support obligations by obtaining support from noncustodial parents–the program has shifted its primary focus from reimbursing the government’s welfare program to maximizing the amount of support passed on to the family, and continuing to pursue new opportunities to improve the program’s effectiveness.

Introduction

In FY 2005, the CSE Program continued to demonstrate a firm commitment to the financial and emotional well-being of dependent children through strong enforcement of the financial obligations owed by their noncustodial parents.  This commitment included expanded efforts to enforce parental obligations in medical support and in Tribal and international cases. Accordingly, in spite of a slight decrease in the child support caseload during FY 2005, $23 billion in child support payments was collected, and distributed, an increase of 5 percent from FY 2004; 1.6 million paternities were established or acknowledged, an increase of 2 percent from 2004; and 1.2 million new child support orders were established in FY 2005, the same as in FY 2004.

Furthermore, OCSE also formulated a plan to update the goals and objectives of the National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan for 2005–2009 that reflects the growth and maturation of the CSE Program into a family-first program. For more details regarding this Plan, see the National OCSE Strategic Plan section of this report.

The following sections provide more specific details on the activities and accomplishments achieved in the Child Support Enforcement Program during FY 2005.

Automation

Automation is critical to the operation and success of the CSE Program. Without a comprehensive, reliable, flexible, and secure system, case workers in the States would not have the means to efficiently locate noncustodial parents who are delinquent in child support payments or to increase collections when circumstances warrant. At the Federal level, in 1996, CSE was charged with the responsibility of developing the initial Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) and expanding it to include new systems used by the States to address new requirements. Today, the FPLS includes several mission-critical systems supporting OCSE business processes and one state-to-state communications network.

There are five specific FPLS systems that support OCSE in achieving its goals:

National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) contains approximately 1.36 billion individual records of employment and unemployment claimant information from 54 States and territories and all Federal agencies. This claimant information is used to locate child support case participants and verify their employment, and to facilitate collection of monetary support through income withholding, medical support enforcement, and enrollment in health care coverage.

Federal Case Registry (FCR) contains child support case and participant information from 54 States and territories. At the end of FY 2005, the FCR contained over 18 million cases and included participant information on over 42 million individuals.

Intergovernmental Referral Guide (IRG) provides child support case processing procedures and information from each of the 54 State and territorial jurisdictions to increase the efficiency of interstate case processing.

Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) is the application that supports transmission of interstate transactions over a private, closed network; this network supports processing of case requests from one State to another State, and the submission of electronic income withholding orders (IWOs) by States directly to the Department of Defense (DOD), the largest single employer in the United States.

Federal Offset System contains data certified by States regarding the amount of past-due child support owed by noncustodial parents. The Offset System interfaces with: (1) Department of Treasury’s Financial Management Service (FMS) to offset tax refunds and other Federal payments up to the amount certified by State CSE agencies; (2) Department of State to deny issuance of passports to delinquent obligors; and (3) over 4,500 multistate financial institutions to identify and levy assets to collect past-due child support.

Support of OCSE, ACF and HHS Goals

The FPLS fully supports the achievement of many HHS and ACF strategic goals and objectives.  It provides critical support in the achievement of OCSE strategic goals, and is critical to the mission of the Child Support Enforcement Program. Specifically, it supports the goals of OCSE, ACF, and HHS through:

  • Providing NDNH data to assess eligibility for prescription drug benefits in support of the Secretary’s Priority 1, implementing the Medicare Modernization Act, and the Secretary’s vision to modernize Medicare and Medicaid as outlined in his 500-Day Plan;

  • Locating noncustodial parents (NCPs) and their assets to identify, establish, modify, and enforce child support orders, employment, and assets held by multi-state financial institutions; and promoting self-sufficiency­ in support of the vision to protect life, family, and human dignity as outlined in the Secretary’s 500-Day Plan;

  • Comparing information in the FCR with information in the NDNH and information in the FCR with information maintained by Department of Defense’s  Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), and analyzing the feasibility of matching the database of these systems to provide States with information about potential health coverage available to children receiving IV-D services in support of HHS and ACF goals;

  • Transmitting locate requests to external agencies; conducting matches between FCR and NDNH data; identifying the location, income, and assets of parents; and facilitating state-to-state communication via CSENet and the Query Interstate Cases for Kids (QUICK) interstate pilot project to promote parental responsibility and expedite the establishment of paternity and the collection and enforcement of child support in support of OCSE, HHS, and ACF goals; and

  • Comparing information in the NDNH, in the case of the Earned Income Tax Credit, with information maintained by authorized Federal and State agencies to prevent and recoup erroneous payments in public assistance and benefits programs and to collect debts owed to the Federal Government.

Outcomes Attributed to the FPLS

The FPLS plays a crucial role in helping the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement to fulfill its mission in assisting States to secure the financial support upon which millions of our nation’s children depend.  The FPLS enables OCSE and State CSE agencies to locate parents who have financial obligations and to quickly collect and “move” money to children who depend on parental financial support for food, shelter, education, medical care, and other needs. In addition, the FPLS data are used across Federal and State agencies to reduce erroneous payments and overall program costs in public assistance and benefit programs.

To quantify the effectiveness of these tools and States’ use of them to collect interstate child support, OCSE’s Economic Analysis Team conducted studies of the benefits of NDNH W-4 data in 15 States. The studies used a random sample of noncustodial parents’ matches resulting from new hire information submitted to the NDNH that were returned to the States under study in FY 2005. The results of each study were reported to each individual State and compiled to project national numbers. These studies found that:

  • Thirty-three percent of the sample NDNH new hire matches that had child support orders in place resulted in the issuance of an IWO directly from a State CSE agency to an employer;

  • Forty percent of those IWOs resulted in a collection directly attributable to the NDNH-FCR new hire match; and

  • The median monthly child support payment in these cases was $242.

It is estimated that over $115 million is collected annually in these 15 States due to these matches. By projecting the above results nationally, an estimated $440 million in additional child support would be collected annually due to matching applicable databases.1

During tax year 2005, a total of 7.2 million child support cases with arrearages of $83.1 billion were certified for Federal tax and administrative offset. The Federal Offset Program collected $1.6 billion in delinquent child support by offsetting tax refunds and other administrative payments to delinquent child support obligors.  Of this total, approximately 45 percent was targeted for reimbursement of TANF payments; the remaining 55 percent was collected for non-public assistance child support debt.

The State Department is currently denying over 80 passports per day through the Passport Denial Program, resulting in $15.9 million in lump sum payments during FY 2005.   

During FY 2005, account matches for over 1 million obligors identified through the Multistate Financial Institution Data Match were returned to States each quarter.  States reported $116.6 million in collections as a result of these matches.  Since the program began in FY 1999, cumulative collections total approximately $339 million and may include some in-State collections.

Over 10.1 million interstate transactions occurred in FY 2005 through the Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet).

In addition, the FPLS has generated savings to other Federal agencies by providing data, as authorized by statute, to help them prevent and recoup erroneous payments in public assistance and benefits programs in keeping with the CSE mission. FPLS data acquired in such intergovernmental data-sharing initiatives resulted in estimated annual savings totaling over $2.4 billion. Specific details on these savings are available in the President’s Management Agenda section.

Federal Parent Locator Service Continuing Service Improvement Project

The vision for the FPLS Continuous Service Improvement (CSI) Project is to create dynamic, integrated information systems that connect people and processes to serve children, families, and the general public.

The FPLS CSI project increases and enhances the ability of State CSE agencies to promote the Child Support Enforcement Program mission and supporting goals/ objectives by providing: improved access to locate sources; greater support for enforcement of support obligations at the Federal level; and an efficient and effective means of communication between States and Federal agencies.

In addition, FPLS CSI activities must continue to reduce the burden on private and public data providers by eliminating the cost and resources involved in the requirement for multiple submissions.   Ensuring FPLS data are available for cross-Federal agency purposes reduces redundant investments in Federal Information Technology (IT) resources and provides a single source of data for multiple purposes. 

FPLS CSI not only addresses IT architecture issues, it also encompasses an analysis of business processes. Specifically, the FPLS CSI effort includes support for new legislative proposals. It creates greater efficiencies in processing, including support for more rapid information responses/updates and collection distributions. Furthermore, the FPLS CSI effort examines the use of common data stored across systems and develops streamlined capabilities for Federal interagency data exchange. Also under consideration will be an improved system of integration with State CSE systems to improve business workflow and increase security and auditing capabilities. OCSE has defined both programmatic and technical objectives for the CSI effort.

CSI Program Objectives. The CSI program objectives are designed to greatly assist OCSE to meet the long-range strategic plan for the CSE Program by: 

  • Facilitating better communication between jurisdictions in order to improve the management and processing of cases that involve multiple States;
  • Increasing collection of arrears from noncompliant noncustodial parents by providing States additional standardized and centralized mechanisms to access enforcement remedies at the Federal level, as mandated in legislation;
  • Increasing collection of arrears from noncompliant noncustodial parents by providing States additional standardized and centralized mechanisms to access enforcement remedies at the Federal level, as mandated in legislation;
  • Providing greater efficiencies in case processing by providing enhanced locate activities and sources, and enhanced “just-in-time” access to appropriate State and Federal data; and
  • Being more proactive in the location of persons owing child support by improving the quantity and quality of the data provided to States.

CSI Technical Objectives. OCSE has identified the following technical objectives of the FPLS CSI project to develop an integrated technical infrastructure that leverages new technologies and approaches:

  • Allow easier access to FPLS data.
  • Allow for expanding FPLS data.
  • Improve/add advanced analytical processing capabilities.
  • Streamline capabilities for Federal interagency data exchange.
  • Provide more rapid information responses and updates.
  • Improve integration with State CSE systems.
  • Provide a higher quality of data.
  • Support more flexible data exchanges, online access, and emerging industry wide standards.
  • Reduce the time required and cost of system modifications at both the State and Federal levels.
  • Improve data exchange methods between States.
  • Strengthen functional services in order to support emerging business requirements.

FPLS CSI allows OCSE to more effectively manage its IT costs and associated risks by reducing development time and maintenance costs and using more flexible and expandable data exchange capabilities. It also provides for improved program performance through the efficient and effective use of newer technologies and industry wide standards. FPLS CSI continues to evaluate and improve the CSE Program business processes and the functionality of the FPLS that supports these processes.

President’s Management Agenda

OCSE provides strong support to the objectives outlined in the President’s Management Agenda. This support is reflected both in strategic goals and objectives developed by OCSE in its National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan 2005–2009, and in tangible results demonstrated within the program and the FPLS, as outlined below:

Improved Financial Performance. The FPLS supports this Government wide initiative, generating more than $3 billion in savings by: (1) providing NDNH match results to State and Federal programs to help them prevent and recoup improper payments in public assistance and benefits programs; (2) collecting debt owed to the Government; and (3) facilitating compliance with the Improper Payments Information Act, OMB Memorandum 03-13, and agencies’ preparation of their Performance and Accountability Reports.   Use of the results of NDNH cross-matching facilitates the level of Federal-State coordination essential to the reporting of national improper payment estimates on Federal programs.

Currently, comparisons between FPLS data and data maintained by Federal and State programs improve the financial performance of Federal agencies as follows:

  • Higher Education Loan and Grant Collections – More than $2.06 billion was collected in FY 2005 by the Department of Education from student loan defaulters due to matches against data maintained in the FPLS’ National Directory of New Hires (based on information reported to OCSE by the Department of Education). These matches also support the President’s Management Agenda program-specific initiative Elimination of Fraud and Error in Student Aid Programs and Deficiencies in Financial Management.
  • Increased Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Collections – $713 million in tax refunds were frozen by the IRS on the basis of combined data from the FCR and SSA and analysis of EITC claims by 269,000 taxpayers for tax year 2005, the most recent year for which data is available (based on information reported to OCSE by IRS’s EITC Department).
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Payment Corrections – Recovered and prevented benefits overpayments of approximately $403 million with a benefit-to-cost ratio of 11.4 to 1 (based upon SSA analysis conducted every 3 years).
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – A pilot project overseen by OCSE and the Office of Family Assistance compared data in the FPLS’ NDNH and TANF data maintained by the District of Columbia’s Income Maintenance Administration. The pilot resulted in the identification and verification of 5,331 TANF recipients who were employed but did not report, or underreported, earnings, as required as a condition of TANF eligibility. Independent verification of the results of the data comparison resulted in case actions generating annualized savings of over $10.5 million.  Recognizing the efficacy of this match, the District of Columbia will become a regular TANF match partner. OCSE and ACF’s Office of Family Assistance are currently working with State TANF agencies that opt to participate in data matches with the NDNH. It is anticipated that matching will produce results comparable to results from the District of Columbia’s pilot match described above, adjusted for caseload and geographic considerations. Matching began in July 2005.

Public Housing/Rental Assistance – In a matching program that will also support the President’s Management Agenda program-specific ­initiative Management and Performance: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), OCSE is currently working with HUD to conduct matches against NDNH data for the purpose of determining eligibility for certain housing assistance programs. Based on FY 2003 figures, the most recent year for which data are available, HUD paid an estimated $191 million in erroneous subsidies due to intentional tenant underreporting of income. This matching program will allow HUD to avoid significant levels of improper payments by providing an automated, central source of independent data to authorized HUD program administrators to determine the accuracy of tenant-reported and employer-verified income.  

Expanded Electronic Government. The FPLS supports this goal by fully implementing e-government solutions to streamline government-to-government, government-to-business, and citizen-to-government communications.

Government-to-Government –The FPLS streamlines government-to-government communication in the following ways:

  • Electronic Transmission of Child Support through the E-Payroll Initiative. OCSE participates in the standardization and consolidation of the Federal civilian payroll services to promote the electronic transmission of child support payments owed by Federal employees from the payroll center to State CSE programs.
  • Identification of Health Coverage for Children.  OCSE has implemented a nationwide match with the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) to identify children in IV-D child support cases who are currently enrolled, or eligible for enrollment in its Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)/Tricare.  This nationwide match followed a successful pilot conducted by OCSE between the child support cases from Ohio, New York, and DMDC.
    A total of 376,410 matches were made on children registered on the FCR with the medical records maintained by DMDC in DEERS.  The match identified 230,087 children already enrolled in DEERS, as well as 95,488 children eligible for enrollment by virtue of one or both of the parents being in the military and, therefore, capable of sponsoring the child.  This latter group constitutes probable referrals to DoD’s RAPIDS Center since the children were not currently enrolled.  The match also identified 50,835 children who were previously enrolled in DEERS, but whose coverage had terminated.  Dates of medical coverage were provided. Per policy instructions provided to State CSE agencies, use of the DMDC match eliminates the need for sending the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to DMDC.  Projected cost savings to States are $1to $10 per NMSN.
  • Real-Time Electronic Access to Child Support Payment Data. OCSE, State CSE programs, and other stakeholders are collaborating on a pilot project, Query Interstate Cases for Kids (QUICK), designed to efficiently provide authorized child support personnel in one State with real-time access to financial and case information in another State for purposes of processing the case and providing customer service to parents receiving child support services.
  • Electronic Reporting of New Hires and Wage Data by Federal Agencies. Federal law requires Federal employers to report newly hired employees and the quarterly wages of their employees to the NDNH, (42 U.S.C. 653(n) and 653A(b)). The FPLS investment provides Federal employers with an electronic option to comply with the reporting requirement.
  • Electronic Transmission of Data via CONNECT: Direct. Data is transmitted electronically via SSA’s CONNECT: Direct between the FPLS and the State Directories of New Hires and State CSE agencies, including their State Case Registries. This reduces redundancies in IT investments for both the State and Federal Governments while ensuring the security of the data.
  • E-Training for State and Local Child Support Personnel. OCSE has developed a training tool using Web-streaming technology to provide State and local child support managers and case workers with information about “Making the Most of the FPLS.” A second Web-streaming tool on CSENet functionality has been developed and will be available soon.

Government-to-Business– The FPLS streamlines government–to–business communication in the following ways:

  • Electronic Income Withholding Order. OCSE has implemented an electronic income withholding pilot. A workgroup consisting of representatives from States and employers designed and developed the layouts, workflow, and business rules for the exchange of income-withholding orders and related communications. The layouts were completed in March 2005 and the pilot was initiated when the first State and employer began communications on June 26, 2005. OCSE is now developing plans for the national implementation of the electronic income-withholding process.
  • Electronic Registration for Multistate Employers. The FPLS investment allows an employer conducting business in more than one State to comply with Federal law by designating, and registering electronically with the FPLS, the single State to which the employer will report data on newly hired employees, 42 U.S.C. 653A(b)(1)(B) and 653(i)(4). This electronic option provides employers with a one-stop point of service and eliminates a need to report information to multiple States.
  • Government-to-Citizens – The FPLS streamlines government-to-citizen communication by implementing a redesign of the FPLS section of the OCSE Web site to make it easier for parents and other individuals to access information about the Child Support Enforcement Program.

Federal Oversight and Funding of State Automation Programs

During FY 2005, OCSE certified two additional State systems, New York and New Jersey, bringing the total to 52 States and territories that have systems that meet the automation requirements of both the Family Support Act of 1988 and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. OCSE continued to provide technical assistance, independent validation, and verification quarterly reviews of the two remaining States, California and South Carolina.

Because the majority of States and territories now have certified systems that meet certain minimum functional objectives, in FY 2005 OCSE changed its focus from system certification reviews to providing guidance and technical assistance to encourage States to increase the level of automation in their statewide CSE systems. OCSE continues to encourage States to increase their levels of automation. For example, in FY 2005, OCSE continued the development of a series of guidance documents related to the level of automation in statewide CSE systems. Specifically, OCSE began on-site case studies of a number of States with best practices in electronic document management or imaging as well as encouraging interfaces with State vital records agencies to improve data exchange for paternity establishment.

In FY 2005, OCSE also provided technical assistance to Tribal grantees. OCSE issued Action Transmittal 05-02 that provided policy guidance related to Tribal automation. This guidance document included a definition of office automation that was permitted for the Tribal grantees. In addition, OCSE continued to work closely with the Tribal IV-D grantees on the requirements and general design of a model Tribal system.

In addition, in FY 2005, OCSE continued to work closely with other Federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture (Food Stamps), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Medicaid), and programs in the Administration for Children and Families (TANF and Child Welfare programs) to continue cooperative work on State systems regulations and guidance. Guidance documents from this multi-program workgroup included Information Memorandum (IM) 05-04, Use of Enterprise Level Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Software in Automated Human Services; IM 05-03, Checklist for States and Territories Use in Requesting Exemptions for Prior Approval; and IM-05-02, Information Systems Guidance on Use of Master IT Contracts.

TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Overview

OCSE works in partnership with the Federal/State Training and Technical Assistance Work Groups, ACF Regional Offices, other ACF components, and national organizations to provide training and technical assistance to the child support community.  In FY 2005, technical assistance and training were provided in the variety of key operational areas listed below:

Collaboration

Collaboration Seminar Project

The passage of laws such as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (CSPIA), and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) produced an environment in which programs need to work in tandem to increase economic prospects for families and help them achieve self-sufficiency.

The Administration for Children and Families’ Offices of Child Support Enforcement and Family Assistance (OFA), and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), along with a focus group of State and local-level administrators and managers from each of the three systems, partnered to develop a seminar curriculum on collaboration for State, local, and regional managers from three interacting systems to encourage closer collaboration.

The result was “Better Outcomes Through Collaboration,” a 10-hour seminar for office staff and/or regional managers from the three systems. Its purpose is to improve program and client outcomes through interagency collaboration by demonstrating the advantages of working together to achieve program goals to help client families and by helping the partner agencies create a concrete action plan to improve collaboration.

In July 2005, OCSE hosted a collaboration academy in Chicago for representatives from 11 jurisdictions. The participating States/jurisdictions were: Arizona, California (Los Angeles County), Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas. The academy was designed to help representatives develop plans to improve collaboration through the State/jurisdiction. Each State/jurisdiction was invited to bring managers from the Child Support, TANF, and the workforce investment systems, as well as one trainer. Participants used the academy to: (1) develop a strategy to promote collaboration among the programs in their States/jurisdictions, (2) discuss how to use the “Better Outcomes Through Collaboration” curriculum as an element in the overall collaboration strategy, and (3) create an action plan that outlined concrete short- and long-term steps to improve collaboration.

Collaborative InitiativeIV-D and Courts

In 2005, the National Judicial/Child Support Enforcement Task Force completed several work products in furtherance of its effort to increase child support collections through enhanced collaboration with the courts and judiciary. A representative product was the National Judicial/Child Support Enforcement Task Force Strategic Plan, a document designed to complement and support the mission, goals and objectives of the National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2005–2009 and the policies of the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators regarding the support of children and problem-solving courts. The Plan reflects the combined effort of child support professionals representing State and Tribal Child Support Enforcement agencies, State courts, State court administrators, national court and judicial associations, the Office of Child Support Enforcement, and regional offices in the Administration for Children and Families. It establishes a recommended roadmap for maximizing collaboration and resultant benefits at the regional, State, and Tribal levels. The Task Force remains convinced that the promotion of agency-judicial collaboration will lead to improvements in virtually all of the performance indicators outlined in the National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan and will positively impact the lives of America’s children and families.

Training Curricula

Video to Accompany Military Training Curricula

A video tape taken during a live studio presentation of the trainer guide, “Working with the Military on Child Support Matters,” was placed on the OCSE Web site during the past year. It was produced through a contract with the National Institutes of Health as an additional training tool to use with the written material for the two-day course curriculum. Keyed to individual chapters of the trainer guide, it allows child support workers to learn or review military child support information and guidance from their own computers at a pace suited to their individual needs and enhances both the adaptability and portability of the training material. It also serves as a visual model for regional, State, or local training coordinators to help perfect their presentation skills.

Training Courses on Child Support Enforcement for Tribal IV-D Programs

On September 30, 2005, a contract was awarded to revise computer-based training courses on child support enforcement, and to increase their utility for Tribal child support programs.  Five training courses are being revised: (1) Child Support Enforcement–Orientation; (2) Child Support Enforcement–Locate; (3) Child Support Enforcement–Paternity Establishment; (4) Child Support Enforcement–Enforcing the Order; and (5) Child Support Enforcement–Processing Intergovernmental Child Support Cases.

The revisions will reflect the sovereign status of Tribes and the choices Tribes may make in their individual IV-D programs to meet the unique needs of their particular Tribal communities and legal systems consistent with the Final Rule on Tribal Child Support Enforcement Programs.  Technology and design of the courses also are being updated to ensure they can be used as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Customer Service Training

The Division of State, Tribal, and Local Assistance (DSTLA) trainers conducted two “Customer Service Training for Child Support Enforcement Workers” training sessions in California–one for Los Angeles County trainers and staff and the other for staff and trainers from five other California counties.  In addition, two customer service training workshops were conducted at the following conferences: the OCSE 15th National Training Conference, the Ohio State Conference, and the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council (WICSEC) Conference.

15th National OCSE Training Conference

Over the past 30 years, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has made substantial strides in a program that is very complex and requires managing a sophisticated database.  The guiding principles reflect the program’s evolution from predominately functioning as a welfare reimbursement program to its current mission, which is primarily ensuring that families can be self-sufficient.  The 15th National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference, held in Arlington, VA, in September 2005, was the forum for “Child Support Enforcement –30 Years and Counting.”  The main focus of the conference was building on the solid foundation developed over the past years. Other topics included:

  •   Review of healthy marriage child support waivers

  •   Emerging issues in paternity establishment

  •   Where we are headed in medical support

  •   Current developments in data collections

  • Using the logic model to improve management, effectiveness, and efficiency

Peer-to-Peer

Paternity Establishment Percentage Peer-to-Peer Meeting

In FY 2005, OCSE sponsored a peer-to-peer technical assistance and training conference to address issues regarding the Paternity Establishment Percentage (PEP) performance measures and related data reliability issues. The conference was an informal, interactive forum conducted in an effort to assist States and Tribes in increasing their IV-D paternity establishment percentages and in improving their program performance on the Data Reliability measures. During the conference, representatives from States with successful paternity establishment practices and States which perform well on the data reliability measures shared their insights and expertise with States seeking to improve their respective State’s performance in these important program areas. At the conclusion of each conference session, participants were afforded the opportunity to ask questions and to offer their personal insights and experiences from their respective State’s perspective. Following the conference, a summary report of conference proceedings, including a collection of successful practices cited during the conference, was prepared and subsequently made available to States and other interested parties.

PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS

Undistributed Collections

By the end of FY 2005, $497 million in child support collected on behalf of families remained undistributed to families at the end of the year. The Child Support Enforcement Program has continuously maintained its commitment to ensuring that child support is a reliable source of income for families. In this regard, ensuring that money collected on behalf of children is actually distributed to them continues to be a national priority.

Likewise, OCSE continues to meet and hold periodic conference calls with the Federal staff responsible for monitoring Undistributed Collections (UDC). Conference calls are also held periodically with State contacts responsible for UDC. These calls provide an opportunity for State staff to meet and discuss which States have improved or need technical assistance with their data.

OCSE’s efforts to reduce undistributed collections have started to pay-off. As provided in Table 18, the rate of undistributed collections declined from 3.75 percent in 2001 to 2.11 percent in 2005. In fiscal year 2005, States began using a UDC schedule that allows OCSE to determine what comprises States’ undistributed collections and how long States hold collections. Collections not distributed are broken down into two categories—those soon to be released and those with issues that must be resolved before the funds can be released.

This information shows that the largest portion of UDC is less than six months old and is from income tax refund offsets. States are allowed to hold these collections for up to six months for possible injured spouse claims against jointly-filed Federal income tax refunds.

Data from FY 2005 show that 60 percent of undistributed collections are comprised of collections held because funds were:

  • needed for possible tax offset spouse claims;

  • collected within the past two days;

  • held for resolution of legal disputes;

  • pending transfer to another State or agency; or

  • for future child support.

The additional 40 percent of UDC was due to issues the State had yet to resolve before the funds could be distributed—such as:

  • unidentified collections;

  • missing or inaccurate account information;

  • stale-dated checks; and

  • location of the parents.

Understanding the Child Support Debt

Despite record collections by State CSE programs, considerable sums of child support go unpaid every year. As of September 30, 2005, States report that the total national unpaid child support debt that has accumulated since the program began in 1975 is $107 billion. This large accumulation of child support arrears is a serious concern for a number of reasons. If these arrears could be collected, the additional income would clearly benefit the children and families who are owed this child support. Large arrears balances give the impression that State CSE programs are not doing their job. People tend to assume that if the debt is growing, it means that locate and enforcement tools are not working, and that child support workers are not effective. However, this is not an entirely accurate perception. Various studies have indicated that it is much more complicated than this, and that there are other causes for the arrears growth.

In order to gain a better understanding of the child support debt, OCSE and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with the Urban Institute to conduct a detailed study of child support arrears in nine large States. The nine States are: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Collectively, these States held a total of about $39 billion in arrears at the time that the data was extracted. The arrears in these States represented about 40 percent of the nation’s total arrears. The purpose of this study was to understand the composition of the child support debt, the causes for the dramatic growth, and what steps may be taken to curb future arrears growth. In addition to this study, OCSE has been matching child support debtors in all States with data contained in the

NDNH and the FCR to obtain wage and employment, and other information on these debtors.

We have learned much about the composition of the debt and its causes from the Urban Institute’s, “Child Support Debt Analysis Study,” and the OCSE debtor matches. Preliminary results from these studies show:

  • While most debtors owed small amounts of arrears, most of the arrears were owed by a small minority of debtors who owed large amounts of arrears. Only 11 percent of the obligors in the study owed over $30,000, but they held 54 percent of the debt that was owed.

  • High debtors are more likely to have lower reported income. Nearly three-quarters of debtors who owed over $30,000 had either no reported income or reported income less than $10,000 annually based on matches with quarterly wage data, while only 20 percent of obligors with no debt had no reported income or reported income less than $10,000 annually.

  • These high debtors tended to have higher current support orders than non-debtors and debtors who owed less than $30,000. Also, high debtors were expected to pay a larger percentage of their income for current support orders. The median support order for high debtors was 55 percent of their income. This compares to 13 percent for non-debtors and 22 percent for those who owe less than $30,000.

  • High debtors with a current support order tended to have older orders than other obligors.

  • High debtors were also more likely to have multiple current support orders than non-debtors.

  • High debtors were less likely to pay support than non-debtors.

  • High debtors were less likely to have a known address, and somewhat more likely to have an out-of-State address than non-debtors. Also, high debtors were twice as likely to have an interstate case as a non-debtor.

With knowledge obtained from these studies, OCSE and States can better design and implement appropriate strategies for dealing with the debt. For example, while it appears that most child support debt is owed by persons with little or no reported income (based on quarterly wage reports), we know from other analyses that many of these persons have other resources to pay some of their child support debt, and many are in fact making payments towards their child support debt. We need to systematically develop and utilize tools other than wage withholding to enforce these orders.

The best way to reduce the child support debt is to avoid accumulating arrears. The best way to do this is to set initial orders at appropriate levels, modify orders promptly when family circumstances change, and immediately intervene when child support is not paid. Parents should share in the cost of supporting their children according to their ability.

Medical Support

The Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 (CSPIA) mandated the establishment of the Medical Child Support Working Group (MCSWG) to identify impediments to the effective enforcement of medical support. CSPIA also mandated establishment of the Medical Support Incentive Workgroup (MSIW) to develop a performance measure of the effectiveness of States in establishing and enforcing medical support obligations. OCSE has continued to work with State partners and stakeholders in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Labor in developing legislative proposals in response to the recommendations of the MCSWG. OCSE has also continued its consultation with State partners in developing regulatory revisions to improve the establishment and enforcement of medical support, including the issues of availability and affordability of employer-sponsored coverage.

In addition, CSPIA mandated the development of the National Medical Support Notice in FY 2000 to improve the administration of medical support obligations. As of October 1, 2005, 53 States and territories had enacted laws to have in effect the provisions required for use of the NMSN in cases where the obligated parent has medical support provisions in the child support order and may be able to provide health care coverage through employer-sponsored coverage.  The one remaining State is seeking legislation for implementing/automating the NMSN.

The Employer Outreach team continues to provide extensive technical assistance to employers on the NMSN through articles in publications, presentations at conferences and teleconferences, and explanatory material on its Web site.  In addition, the OCSE Web site has a downloadable version of the NMSN for use by State workers. The Employer Outreach team continues to work with States based on individual requests.

OCSE continues to issue guidance regarding medical support enforcement and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This guidance responds to issues from States, employers, and health insurance plan administrators about the HIPAA privacy provisions.

OCSE and other Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) components have also sponsored research projects to improve establishment and enforcement of appropriate medical support obligations in response to MCSWG recommendations: (1) The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), in consultation with OCSE, sponsored research addressing health care coverage among child support-eligible children; (2) ASPE also sponsored research addressing State practices in medical child support cross-program coordination with Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP); and (3) OCSE-sponsored Special Improvement Project (SIP) grants to assist States in the enforcement of the custodial parent’s health insurance coverage, to decrease Medicaid and SCHIP funds spent on children’s medical coverage, and to increase the number of cases where premium costs are shared in a balanced manner between parents.  OCSE has also included medical support as one of the five priority areas for research demonstration activities to add to the knowledge and to promote the objectives of the Child Support Enforcement Program.

The National OCSE Strategic Plan for 2005–2009 includes the establishment and enforcement of medical support as a stand-alone goal.  OCSE acknowledges that the provision of medical coverage by the custodial parent (or step-parent) may be a better option for many children.  In addition, the program recognizes its role in assisting States to control their Medicaid expenditures by placing the financial responsibility for health care on the family, not the taxpayer, to the greatest extent possible.  The OCSE Strategic Plan includes indicators for both establishment and enforcement of medical support, as well as the percentage of IV-D children with health care coverage from any source, and the Medicaid cost savings attributable to OCSE medical support efforts.   

The Child Support Enforcement community recognizes that it has a unique role to play in increasing the extent to which children receive health coverage. ACF hosted five regional meetings during the summer of 2005. These meetings brought together State Directors from Medicaid, Child Welfare (IV-E) and Child Support Enforcement (IV-D) to collaborate on ways to increase medical support for children and cost savings through collaboration between these agencies at the State level. These meetings were also attended by Federal staff from the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Children’s Bureau and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The meetings were held as follows:

Region V/VII – June 28 & 29 in Kansas City, MO

Region VIII/IX/X – July 19 & 20 in Reno, NV

Region VI – July 19 in Little Rock, AR

Region IV – August 10 & 11 in Charleston, SC

Region I/II/III – August 17 & 18 in Boston, MA

Grants to States and Other Organizations

Section 1115 Demonstration Grants

Section 1115(a) of the Social Security Act provides OCSE with the authority to fund demonstration project grants.2 In FY 2005, OCSE awarded $1.1 million in Section 1115 grants to the following 10 State agencies:

  • Tennessee was awarded $82,853 for three judicial districts to provide services to never-married parents through a parenting specialist and facilitators.

  • Texas was granted $108,112 to test the impact of family stabilization services on unmarried, expectant, and newly delivering mothers, and on fathers in conjunction with regular prenatal and postpartum clinic visits.

  • A project in Wisconsin was awarded $108,400 to test legal services for noncustodial parents early in the child support process in Milwaukee County. The goal of this project is to increase regular collections and improve the interactions that noncustodial parents have with their children and the custodial parent.

  • Washington was awarded a $108,400 grant to test the provision of strengthened voluntary paternity services and new accompanying services–including genetic testing, marriage education, and dispute resolution services–in hospitals. The goals of this project are to increase paternity establishment and reduce adversarial actions.

  • Hawaii was granted $108,400 to educate unwed parents on parental responsibility. This project works through Hawaii’s welfare agency and secures voluntary acknowledgements of paternity and promotes healthy marriage for better outcomes for children.

  • Maryland was awarded $105,562 to train low-income parents in parenting and couples skills to preserve two-parent families. This project involves Maryland’s social services and child support agencies and the Center for Families, Fathers, and Workforce Development.

  • Arizona was granted $120,000 to participate in a new collaboration with the court, attorney general, and Administration of Courts to develop and implement a Web-based automated arrears calculation tool. This project will allow the State agency, the courts, and customers to better manage child support arrears.

  • Vermont received a grant of $118,608 to create a fully integrated medical support initiative among its child support, welfare, and Medicaid agencies.

  • Utah was awarded $120,000 to automate record exchanges between its vital records and child support agencies. This project will also help the two State agencies increase collaboration to better educate the public on the need to establish paternity.

  • Colorado was awarded $114,741 for child support agencies in Denver, Pueblo, and Mesa to develop a comprehensive system of early intervention.

These projects will help improve child support enforcement in 10 States. The grants are designed to help families achieve self-sufficiency and promote stability for children, mothers, and fathers.

Special Improvement Project Grants

The Special Improvement Project (SIP) grant program provides funding for projects that further the national child support mission and goals and help improve program performance.3 In FY 2005, OCSE awarded the following 14 SIP grants:

  • Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh received $200,000 to collaborate with the Allegheny County child support enforcement agency and the Allegheny Jail Collaborative to develop a service-delivery model that targets incarcerated noncustodial parents for employment and support services.

  • Episcopal Social Services of Wichita received $193,600 to test proactive incentives such as pro-se legal facilitation and arrears forgiveness to encourage noncustodial parents to consistently pay child support.

  • The Monterey County Department of Child Support Services in Salinas, California, received $200,000 to offer child support services more responsive to the needs of migrant-worker families in remote locations.

  • The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Reno received $150,000 to develop tools to assist State court judges in setting realistic and enforceable child and medical support orders. The project is expected to reduce uncollectible debt and improve parental perception of judicial responsiveness.

  • The Third Judicial Circuit Court in Detroit received $145,950 to establish support orders that more appropriately address the circumstances of both parents, improve service of process, use more culturally sensitive court processes, and help overcome apprehensions about the court system.

  • The Michigan Department of Community Health received $99,792 to use data matching of vital records, the child support order, and private insurance available to either parent and Medicaid to ensure that all children involved in court ordered cases, that require healthcare coverage, have the best options available.

  • Michigan State University received $98,364 to develop and test education approaches integrating healthy marriage content into Family Support and Education (FSE) programs for unmarried African American and Latino parents in two communities.

  • The Alabama Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, The Children’s Trust Fund, received $100,000 to provide marriage and child support education targeting African American and Latino nonmarried parents who are IV-D clients with a child age 2 or younger.

  • Families under Urban and Social Attack, Inc. in Houston received $100,000 to provide African American custodial and noncustodial parents, age 18 and over with a minor child, marriage and child support education and support services to strengthen families.

  • The South Baton Rouge Christian Children’s Foundation of Louisiana received $99,703 to provide access to healthy marriage and family strengthening services to an ethnically diverse population of prisoners and their families at pre-release and at re-entry.

  • The Fathers’ Support Center in St. Louis received $100,000 to address essential personal responsibility and basic relationship and parenting skills to African American, Bosnian and Hispanic parents.

  • Georgia State University received $100,000 to facilitate a collaboration of partners to address issues of unmarried teen parents. The partnership consists of churches and faith-based organizations, representatives of the Administrative Office of the Courts, Juvenile Courts and court support staff and associates in DeKalb and Fulton counties, along with child support enforcement personnel.

  • The Texas Office of the Attorney General received $100,000 to test strategies of collaborative interventions at two hospitals to promote the benefits of parental responsibility and the value of family stability and healthy marriage to the well-being of children.

  • The Center for Policy Research in Denver received $100,000 to enhance collaboration between child support enforcement and child welfare agencies. This is a collaborative effort with the child support and foster care agencies in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

Child Access and Visitation Grants

The Grants to States for Access and Visitation Program (42 U.S.C. 669b) was authorized by Congress through passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

The goal of the program, as set in statute, is to:

“…enable States to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate noncustodial parents’ access to and visitation of their children.”

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • mediation (mandatory and voluntary);

  • counseling;

  • education (e.g., parent education);

  • development of parenting plans;

  • visitation enforcement (monitored or supervised visitation);

  • neutral drop-off/pick-up; and

  • development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.

Funding for access and visitation has remained at $10 million per year since FY 1996. However, grants to individual States may change based on the funding formula which is in statute.4 There is a minimum annual grant award. States with small populations are guaranteed a base grant amount of $100,000 and those States with large populations are awarded a larger grant amount based on the prescribed funding formula. States are required by law to provide a minimum of 10 percent of the total program cost.

Nationwide, States provided access and visitation services to over 67,000 parents in FY 2005. Nearly equal numbers of mothers (33,795) and fathers (32,174) were served, as well as 2,873 grandparents and/or legal guardians. The majority of parents served were unmarried and poor with annual incomes of less than $20,000.

Federal law requires that each State monitor, evaluate, and report on services funded through access and visitation. This requirement is satisfied through the annual submission of the “State Child Access Program Survey,” which includes:

  • State agency contact information;

  • services funded;

  • provider agency contact information;

  • number of parents served;

  • socio-economic and demographic information on families served; and

  • outcome data (i.e., increase in noncustodial parenting time with children).

On average, States continue to fund a range of access and visitation services, with parent education, mediation, and supervised visitation ranking among the most popular programs, as shown on the chart below.

Healthy Marriages Initiative Waivers

The following Section 1115 waivers were approved in FY 2005. These waivers allow States and approved sites to provide healthy-marriage education integrated with Child Support Enforcement, and to conduct a media campaign pointing out the advantages of marriage, especially for low-income populations. These services to parents are intended to strengthen relationships and foster marriage when appropriate. This education is designed to be voluntary and gender neutral, and requires domestic violence protocols. Federal funds of 66 percent must be matched by 34 percent State and local non-federal funds:

  • Georgia Department of Human Resources was awarded a Healthy Marriage Waiver of $ 960,000 in Federal funds to allow the Georgia Family Council to conduct a media campaign and provide marriage education to community coalitions in Macon, Lithonia, Thomasville, Duluth-Norcross, Columbus, and Atlanta.

  • Florida Department of Revenue was awarded a Healthy Marriage Waiver for $1 million in Federal funds to provide for a media campaign and provision of marriage education to the City of Jacksonville.

  • Washington Division of Child Support Management was awarded a Healthy Marriage Waiver for $1 million in Federal funds to provide marriage education through a community coalition in the city of Lakewood.

  • Washington Division of Child Support Management was awarded a Healthy Marriage Waiver for $990,000 in Federal funds to allow Yakima County to provide marriage education for low-income residents.

  • Colorado Department of Human Services was awarded $830,000 in Federal funds to support its Healthy Marriage Waiver to provide marriage education through sites in four counties (Denver, Durango, La Plata, and Montezuma).

  • Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children was awarded $1 million in Federal funds for a Healthy Marriage Waiver to provide for a media campaign and for marriage education, mentoring, and related support services to unwed and married couples in the Lexington area.

  • Texas Office of the Attorney General was awarded $999,000 in Federal funds for a Healthy Marriage Waiver to provide skills-based marriage education accompanied by an intensive in-home visitation program to couples in Houston and Tom Green Counties preceding provision of marriage education.

Technology Transfers

The Technology Transfer (TT) Program enables a State or local child support agency to transfer existing knowledge, skills, and expertise from one IV-D agency to another. It usually involves a proven technology or practice that is anticipated to improve performance in States that adapt such practices from other jurisdictions.

Regions II and III held a Bi-Regional Good Ideas and Promising Practice Meeting in Lancaster, PA, during May 2005. The meeting was held to promote effective implementation of the OCSE Strategic Plan by highlighting innovations in Regions II and III plus Colorado. Approximately 150 participants from 8 States attended the meeting. Sessions examined techniques for increasing collection of current support, early intervention techniques, obtaining medical support, and focusing resources.

From April 4-7, 2005, the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division sent two staff members to North Carolina and Atlanta to learn about their respective outbound calling systems. During the visits, the Texas staff learned about each State’s outbound dialing applications--obtaining specific information about the scope of the projects, how each project’s success was measured, how confidentiality was maintained, how customers were educated, the type of technology used, and each project’s costs. For example, they learned about the outbound calling system North Carolina has implemented utilizing Phone Tree 3500, a computer system using hardware and software to perform automated outbound calls to confirm appointments, deliver special messages, and make collection calls.

Six representatives from the State of Iowa, including the IV-D Director and court staff, visited Maine to observe the Maine Court’s Case Management system from

September 26-27, 2005. In Maine, case managers are allowed to establish and modify support orders and to refer custody issues to the presiding judge. Iowa has a large number of IV-D cases in which the parents have changed the residence of the child but have not sought a new custody or support order. The Maine model allows the parents to go directly to the Court Case Manager to secure changes in the order using current guidelines and court oversight on custody issues. This allows the IV-D agency to make more timely changes so that the child receives the support at his or her current home address. The Iowa delegation met with the Maine Court Administrator, his staff, a magistrate (formerly called Case Management Officer) and several judges regarding the process. Iowa learned first-hand how the Maine process works from the perspective of the Court, the IV-D staff, and several attorneys. They were able to identify key issues and the legal base in development of such a system so that, as the model system is considered in Iowa, they will have the advantage of incorporating the experience of a sister State.

A panel of interstate experts from Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, Montana, and South Dakota were invited to speak at Wyoming’s first statewide Child Support Enforcement Training Conference on August 29-31, 2005, in Casper, WY. The experts shared information about interstate case processing in their States. Approximately 100 people attended the conference.

Region IX hosted a conference on August 9-10, 2005 for IV-D Directors and State senior managers on strategic planning efforts in child support. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the States’ strategic plans and identify opportunities for collaborative

strategies. Seven State and 10 Federal representatives participated. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the regional partners to discuss technical assistance needs to meet specific program improvement goals. The conference was the culmination of a series of teleconferences among Region IX States and Guam on strategic planning. The teleconferences focused on the introductory elements of strategic planning, specifically what it means to strategically align an organization and how such efforts have been executed at the Federal and State/Territory levels.

Region V held their second Regional Urban Jurisdictions Meeting on August 15-17, 2005 to allow 14 urban jurisdictions with large populations to share solutions and best practices for improving program performance. The National OCSE Strategic Plan, the Self-Assessment process, and the performance measures/financial incentives were used as the basis and direction for developing operational strategies to improve performance.

Consumer Services

The Office of Child Support Enforcement operates an Internet Web site which provides child support professionals and the public with easy access and search capability to a significant amount of information about the Child Support Enforcement Program. OCSE also responds to thousands of customer, congressional, and White House case inquiries and requests for program information; operates the National Reference Center which responds to requests for child support publications; provides services to customers and child support professionals in the international community; and publishes the Child Support Enforcement national newsletter, Child Support Report.

The following examples demonstrate some of the consumer services provided in FY 2005:

  • Improved Web site for customers – OCSE made it easier for customers to access information about the Child Support Enforcement Program on its Web site. This includes access to on-demand answers to the Web site’s list of frequently asked child support questions. Approximately 240,000 people visited the Web site to access these questions and answers about the Child Support Enforcement Program. In addition, 8,300 people received personal responses to questions they e-mailed to OCSE either through the Web site or directly. Also enhanced was access to information about OCSE grants and international child support resources. Finally, OCSE added information and links to the Web site after the catastrophic hurricanes to respond to immediate needs of both child support professionals and customers located in affected areas.

  • Enhanced collaboration with partners – OCSE built collaborative tools to enhance communication of child support issues. One such tool is the Child Support National Workplace, an Internet site which provides a confidential forum for child support partners in the Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, and shares information and helps resolve child support issues.

  • Enhanced exchange of program information between child support professionals and the public – OCSE improved accessibility and expanded areas of program information available to child support professionals and the public. In one effort, OCSE demonstrated, with State partners, how secure and digitally signed information could be used in authorizing State Plan amendments. Additionally, under the enhanced State Profile System, OCSE improved and increased flexibility for State child support professionals to update State-specific questions and answers. Another initiative raised the capability for improved monitoring of OCSE grants performance information.

The Handbook on Child Support Enforcement was updated to expand awareness of the issues that play a role in ensuring that children have the emotional and financial support of both parents. For example, the chapter that was entitled “Working Across State Lines: Interstate Cooperation,” 20 years ago, is now entitled “Working Across Borders – Cooperation between States, Tribes, and Countries.” Also, three new chapters were added in the handbook: (1) The Administration’s Healthy Marriage Initiative – promoting stable family relationships in and outside of marriage; (2) “Noncustodial Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities” – making sure the order is fair and maintaining a bond with children; and (3) “Lessons Learned” – the need for fairness, responsiveness, supportiveness, and firmness.

FOCUSING ON RESULTS

The Child Support Enforcement Program is measured through the use of specific performance indicators that further the goals of the National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan for 2005–2009 (the Plan) in five areas: (1) all children have established parentage; (2) all children in IV-D cases have financial and medical support orders; (3) all children in IV-D cases receive financial and medical support from parents, as ordered; (4) the IV-D program will be efficient and responsive in its operations; and (5) all children in IV-D cases have medical coverage.

Budget and Performance Integration

OCSE supports the Budget and Performance Integration goal of the President’s Management Agenda. In 2003, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its evaluation of the effectiveness of the Child Support Enforcement Program using the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). The program received a rating of 90 percent, making it the highest rated social services program among all programs reviewed government-wide.

Since that evaluation, OCSE has taken the following actions to further improve the performance of the program:

  • Developed early intervention strategies to prevent and improve collection of unpaid or overdue child support;

  • Developed medical support enforcement proposals and new indicators to measure the extent to which medical support is not only ordered but also provided in child support cases.

The integration of performance review with budget decisions has produced a performance-based budget. To support this integration of budget and performance:

  • OCSE has high quality outcome measures which accurately monitor the performance of the program;

  • OCSE budget requests and performance plan are aligned with the Department of Health and Human Services; and

  • OCSE has successfully collaborated with States to develop national performance goals.

Performance-Based Incentives and Penalties

Since 1975, the Federal Government has paid incentives to State child support enforcement programs to encourage improved child support collections through adhering to efficient establishment and enforcement techniques. These incentive payments are a key source of funding for State programs.

The method for calculating payments changed with the adoption of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (CSPIA) in 1998. An Incentive Funding Workgroup composed of State and Federal partners made recommendations to the Secretary to develop this system. Four key elements of the performance-based incentive system include:

  • incentive payments based on performance in the five measures: paternity establishment, order establishment, current collections, cases paying toward arrears, and cost-effectiveness;

  • reliable and complete data (as determined by annual data reliability audits and reviews);

  • annual legislated amounts from which States are paid; and

  • incentives that must be reinvested into State child support programs.

In FY 2005, 50 States received an incentive for all five measures and four States received an incentive for four measures. This is a marked improvement over FY 2004 results when 47 States received an incentive for all five measures and seven States for four measures.

Penalties may also be assessed when the calculated level of performance for any of the three penalty measures (paternity establishment, support order establishment, or current collections) fails to achieve a specified level, or if States’ data used to compute incentive measures are found to be incomplete or unreliable, or when States are not in compliance with certain child support requirements. There is an automatic corrective action year. The corrective action year is the immediately succeeding fiscal year following the year of the deficiency. If the State’s data are determined to be complete and reliable and the related performance is adequate for the corrective action year, the penalty is not imposed.

If the corrective action is unsuccessful, the financial penalty is a reduction to the State’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The penalty amount is calculated as 1 to 2 percent of the adjusted State Family Assistance Grant (SFAG) for the TANF program for the first year of the deficiency. The penalty amount increases each year, up to 5 percent, for each consecutive year the State’s data are found to be incomplete, unreliable, or the State’s performance on a penalty measure fails to attain the specified level of performance. In 2005, eight States received a penalty after the FY 2004 corrective action year for the FY 2003 performance period.

Audits and Data Reliability

The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) changed the direction and emphasis of audits of State child support enforcement programs conducted by OCSE. Legislative requirements now emphasize performance and outcomes rather than the pre-PRWORA requirements of processing and taking actions on child support cases. Beginning in FY 2000, as required by the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998, States began receiving financial incentives based on meeting or exceeding standards for each of five performance measures related to paternity and order establishment, collecting child support, and cost-effectiveness.

The incentives are paid based on performance data that States report to the Federal Government. The OCSE Office of Audit performs Data Reliability Audits (DRAs) to evaluate the completeness, accuracy, security, and reliability of these data reported and produced by State reporting systems. The DRAs help ensure that incentives are earned and paid only on the basis of verifiable data and that the incentive payment system is fair and equitable.

Fiscal year 2005 was the sixth year that OCSE calculated and paid incentives to States for meeting performance standards in the five performance measure areas. DRAs in FY 2005 produced results similar to FY 2004. Fifty States and jurisdictions passed the DRA/DRR5 in FY 2005, which was the same number of States that passed in 2004. For the third year in a row, the lines for reporting paternity information on the OCSE-1576 report were the only lines in error. In fiscal years 2004 and 2005, only four States did not meet the data reliability standard for the paternity measure. All States passed the DRA for cost-effectiveness in fiscal years 2002–2005.

Cost Audits

OCSE also is required by PRWORA to evaluate the adequacy of the financial management of a State’s program. Specifically, OCSE is mandated to perform reviews of expenditures claimed by States for Federal reimbursement. The primary objectives of a cost audit are to determine whether costs claimed by the State for Federal reimbursement are allowable, allocable, and reasonable to the child support program and to ensure that States bear their fair share of child support costs. Financial audits are performed after the DRAs are completed to the extent that time and resources are available before beginning the next fiscal year’s DRAs. Findings from cost audits performed or reported in FY 2005 included, among other things, unallowable non-IV-D costs claimed for reimbursement and the receipt of program income not used to offset expenditures as required. 

Self-Assessment

States must conduct an annual review of their Child Support Enforcement Programs using the compliance criteria and sampling methods required under section 454(15)(A) of the Social Security Act. The compliance criteria States must use for self-assessment are case closure, establishing paternity and support, securing and enforcing medical support, reviewing and adjusting support orders, interstate services, and expedited processes for 6 months and 12 months. With respect to the latter, IV-D cases needing support order establishment, action to establish support orders must be completed from the date of service of process to the time of disposition within the following timeframes: 75 percent in 6 months and 90 percent in 12 months. Each year, States must assess their Child Support Program performance and submit a report of their findings.

In 2005, OCSE funded a study to investigate how States use self-assessment as a management tool and to assess the impact of those efforts on incentive performance. Additionally, a Federal/State workgroup was established to assist with the tasks of the contract order. The workgroup included representatives from Arkansas, Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

During the course of the project, the following objectives were met:

  • a review and analysis of information and printed material related to self- assessment and incentives;

  • a statistical analysis of the relationship between States’ self-assessment and performance results;

  • a statistical analysis of the relationship between States’ self-assessment results and their outcomes from data reliability audits;

  • documentation of effective self-assessment practices in nine States; and

  • development of a recommended self-assessment reporting format in partnership between Federal and State representatives.

State Plans

As a condition of receiving Federal funding (Federal Financial Participation/FFP), State IV-D agencies must submit approvable State Plans describing the nature and scope of their program. The State Plan consists of preprinted pages and related attachments, and contains all the information necessary for OCSE to determine whether it can be approved. The authority to approve State Plans is delegated to the Regional Offices, but the Commissioner of OCSE retains the authority for determining that a State IV-D Plan is not approvable.

In FY 2005, California and South Carolina received notices of intent to disapprove their IV-D State Plans for failure to have in effect and in operation automated child support enforcement systems that met all Federal requirements under PRWORA.  During the year, these States have made considerable progress implementing the required procedures.

National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan for FY 20052009 (the Plan)

The Office of Child Support Enforcement introduced the new National Child Support Enforcement Strategic Plan for 2005–2009 (the Plan) in FY 2004. The Plan is the product of effective collaboration between a broad range of entities within the Child Support Enforcement community, including Federal, State, Tribal, and local-level child support enforcement professionals.

The revised Plan’s mission, vision, guiding principles, goals, objectives, and indicators are intended to bring child support professionals everywhere, and all others who collaborate with the IV-D program, an understanding of how the work they do directly affects the outcomes of the program. The Plan also is designed as a practical management tool for setting work priorities and focusing resources. To that end, in 2005, the Office of Child Support Enforcement developed the Executive Coordination Council. The Coordination Council is comprised of the five branch Directors within OCSE taking the lead on each of the initiatives that directly link back to the Strategic Plan.

Project Save Our Children

Project Save Our Children (PSOC) is a criminal child support enforcement initiative that targets chronically delinquent parents who willfully fail to take responsibility for their children and owe large sums of past-due child support.

By prosecuting parents who will not provide support, a pointed message of responsibility is sent that may help to give their children a better chance in life.

In FY 2005, the task force units received over 8,758 cases from the States. As a result of the work of the task forces, 926 nationwide arrests have been executed and 839 individuals sentenced. In FY 2005, the total ordered amount of restitution related to Federal investigations was $38.2 million, and the amount of restitution actually collected was $28 million. PSOC’s activities resulting from these investigations have increased OCSE’s ability to collect arrearages.

During FY 2005, PSOC:

  • continued to access the online Child Support Enforcement Tracking System 5 (CSETS 5), a redeveloped system that is available at all screening sites used to track cases, including restitution payments (allowing for faster and more accurate reporting of case and payment history);

  • held a conference in which training was provided to all Investigative Analysts throughout the nation on the latest investigative techniques and software available to them;

  • provided ongoing Web-based training required for all Investigative Analysts on the law enforcement data system; and

  • wrote several articles in various newspapers throughout the nation and in the Child Support Report about investigations which resulted in the arrest and recovery of restitution ordered by the courts for nonpayment of child support.

TRIBAL PROGRAM

In FY 2005, the Tribal programs went from operating under an Interim Final Rule to the Tribal Final Rule issued during FY 2004. All Tribal programs were required to be in compliance with the new regulations during this transition period. The following nine direct-funded Tribal programs submitted amendments to their program plan and were approved to continue their operations:

  • Chickasaw Nation, OK

  • Navajo Nation, AZ and NM

  • Puyallup Tribe, WA

  • Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe, SD

  • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, WI

  • Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, WI

  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, WA

  • Lummi Nation, WA

  • Forest County Potawatomi Community, WI

The Tribes participated in numerous national child support meetings and conferences in FY 2005, including: four Model Tribal CSE Systems Design Committee Meetings; a Tribal/State Cooperation Workgroup session; the National Tribal Child Support Directors Association Meeting; the National Tribal Child Support Enforcement Association Conference (NTCSA); a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)/Location Codes Workgroup Meeting; the National Child Support Enforcement Association Conference (NCSEA); the 15th National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference; a Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Conference (WICSEC); and the last Tribal Final Rule Roll-Out Meeting. OCSE provides technical assistance to both fully funded and start-up Tribal applicants.

In FY 2005, the Tribal program’s number of grantees increased due to the approval of Tribal Final Rule funding for five Tribal start-up programs. In FY 2005, the following Tribes were funded for start-up programs:

  • Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes, AK

  • Osage Nation, OK

  • Cherokee Nation, OK

  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, OR

  • Quinault Indian Nation, WA

At the end of FY 2005, there were a total of 14 Tribal Child Support grantees. The Tribal Final Child Support Rule allows funding programs–both direct and start-up–for administrative expenses to Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Alaskan Native villages that demonstrate the capacity to operate a Child Support Enforcement Program.

The Federal Government pays 90 percent of costs for Tribal Child Support Programs, with Tribes and Tribal organizations required to contribute the remaining 10 percent for the first three years. The Federal Government pays 80 percent of costs for Tribal Child Support Programs, with Tribes and Tribal organizations required to contribute the remaining 20 percent after three years of operating a fully funded IV-D program. Start-up Tribal programs that are beginning a IV-D program and not fully operating will be funded a maximum of $500,000 for a 2-year period. A total of $12.8 million was collected in child support during FY 2005 from the nine Tribal comprehensive programs.

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM

In April 2005, the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of State (DOS), and State child support agency officials attended the Hague Conference on Private International Law and participated in meetings of the Special Commission on Family Maintenance. While the United States has not been a signatory to previous conventions, U.S. participation in the current Special Commission offers the possibility that a new multilateral instrument might provide U.S. families with the benefits of an expanded international system of cooperation.

As part of OCSE’s efforts in support of the Hague Special Commission, the United States has taken a leading role in organizing and coordinating the Administrative Cooperation Working Group (ACWG). The ACWG’s goals are to improve administrative cooperation among participating countries and to develop possible recommendations on administrative cooperation for the language and implementation of the new child support Convention (a convention to ensure the effective international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance). During 2005, the ACWG and its subcommittees (Country Profile and Monitoring and Review of the Operation and Implementation of the Convention

In support of State caseworkers during 2005, OCSE’s biggest initiative was a series of conference calls on the topic of International Child Support Case Processing. The target audience was composed of Federal and State representatives who handle international cases. OCSE also issued guidance on processing cases with FCRs, improved international child support internet resources, international payments, and procedures for FCR access to the FPLS.

FY 2005 CHARTS & GRAPHS

List of Charts

Cases

Figure 1 Total IV-D Caseload for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years by Current, Former, and Never Assistance

Figure 2 Cases With and Without Support Orders Established and Percent Change for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure 3 Number of IV-D Cases for Which a Collection Was Made for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Paternities Established or Acknowledged

Figure 4 IV-D and Statewide Paternities Established or Acknowledged for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Collections

Figure 5 Percent of Total Distributed Collections by Current, Former, Never, and Medicaid Cases, FY 2005

Figure 6 Total Collections Received by Method of Collection, FY 2005

Figure 7 Total Distributed Collections by TANF/Foster Care and Non- TANFCollections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure 8 Interstate Collections Sent to Other States for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Interstate

Figure 9 Interstate Cases: Cases Sent to and Received from Another State for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Expenditures

Figure 10 Total Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure 11 Total ADP Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Number of Children

Figure 12 Number of Children in the IV-D Program for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Federal Parent and Locator Service (FPLS)

Figure 13: Number of Unique Persons Matched for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years and Number of Persons in the FCR by Participant Type, FY 2005

Figure 14: Federal Offset Collections and Percent Change for Six Processing Years


Figure 1: Total IV-D Caseload for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Total IV-D Caseload for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Total IV-D Caseload for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 % 2002 % 2003 % 2004 % 2005 %
Source: OCSE-157 lines 1+3
Total Caseload 17.1   16.1   15.9   15.9   15.9  
Current Assistance 3.1 18% 2.8 17% 2.8 17% 2.6 17% 2.5 16%
Former Assistance 7.9 46% 7.4 46% 7.4 46% 7.3 46% 7.3 46%
Never Assistance 6.1 36% 5.9 37% 5.8 36% 5.9 37% 6.1 38%

 


Figure 2: Cases With and Without Support Orders Established and Percent Change for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Cases With and Without Support Orders Established and Percent Change for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Cases With and Without Support Orders Established and Percent Change for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-157 lines 1 and 2
Total Caseload 16.8 16 15.9 15.8 15.8
With Orders 11.0 11.3 11.5 11.8 12.0
Without Orders 5.8 4.7 4.4 4.1 3.8
Total Caseload % -2.1% -4.9% -0.9% -0.4% 0.0%
With Orders % 3.4% 2.0% 1.7% 2.5% 2.1%
Without Orders % -11.0% -18.0% -7.2% -8.0% -5.8%

 


Figure 3: Number of IV-D Cases for Which a Collection Was Made for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Number of IV-D Cases for Which a Collection Was Made for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Number of IV-D Cases for Which a Collection Was Made for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: OCSE-157 line 18
Never Assistance 3.1 3.2 3.4 3.5 3.6
Former Assistance 3.6 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.9
Current Assistance 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8

 


Figure 4: IV-D and Statewide Paternities Established or Acknowledged7 for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

IV-D and Statewide Paternities Established or Acknowledged

Figure Data: Figure 4: IV-D and Statewide Paternities Established or Acknowledged7 for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-157 lines 10 and 16
IV-D Paternities Established 777 697 663 692 690
Paternities Acknowledged 791 830 862 914 949

 


Figure 5: Percent of Total Distributed Collections by Current, Former, and Never Assistance, and Medicaid Cases, FY 2005

Percent of Total Distributed Collections by Current, Former, and Never Assistance, and Medicaid Cases, FY 2005

Figure Data: Percent of Total Distributed Collections by Current, Former, and Never Assistance, and Medicaid Cases, FY 2005
Case Type Current Assistance Former Assistance Never Assistance Medicaid
Source: Form OCSE-34A line 8G
Collections $1.0 Billion (5%) $9.2 Billion (40%) $10.4 Billion (45%) $2.2 Billion (10%)

 


Figure 6: Total Collections Received by Method of Collection, FY 2005

Total Collections Received by Method of Collection, FY 2005

Figure Data: Total Collections Received by Method of Collection, FY 2005
Method of Collection Wage Withholding2 Unemployment Intercept Offset Federal Tax Offset State Tax Offset Other Source Other States
Source: Form OCSE-34A lines 2a thru 2g
Collections  $19.4 Billion (69%)   $459 Million (2%)   $1.5 Billion (5%)   $207 Million (1%)   $5.2 Billion (18%)   $1.3 Billion (5%) 

2Wage withholding includes collections received from non-IV-D child support cases processed through the state disbursement unit.

 


Figure 7: Total Distributed Collections by TANF/Foster Care and Non-TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Total Distributed Collections by TANF/Foster Care and Non-TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Total Distributed Collections by TANF/Foster Care and Non-TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-34A, lines 7a, 7b, 7c, and 8
Total (in Billions) 19.0 20.1 21.2 21.9 23.0
Non-TANF (in Billions) 16.4 17.2 18.2 19.6 20.7
TANF/FC (in Billions) 2.6 2.9 3.0 2.2 2.2

 


Figure 8: Interstate Collections Sent to Other States for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Interstate Collections Sent to Other States for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Interstate Collections Sent to Other States for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-34A line 5G
Interstate Collections 1,165 1,204 1,276 1,334 1,393

 


Figure 9: Interstate Cases: Cases Sent to and Received From Another State for Five Fiscal Years

Interstate Cases: Cases Sent to Another State

Figure Data: Interstate Cases: Cases Sent to and Received From Another State for Five Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-157 line 1a
Total (in Thousands) 1,016 1,042 1,083 1,057 1,066
Current Assistance (in Thousands) 113 115 121 115 110
Former Assistance (in Thousands) 546 556 579 567 573
Never Assistance (in Thousands) 357 371 383 375 382

Interstate Cases: Cases Received from Another State

FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-157 line 1b
Total (in Thousands) 928 935 949 955 974
Current Assistance (in Thousands) 253 243 222 212 198
Former Assistance (in Thousands) 119 117 128 132 156
Never Assistance (in Thousands) 557 575 599 611 621

 


Figure 10: Total Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Total Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-396A line 9 columns A+C
Total (in Billions) 4.8 5.2 5.2 5.3 5.3
Federal Share (in Billions) 3.2 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5
State Share (in Billions) 1.6 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8

 


Figure 11: Total ADP Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Total ADP Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Total ADP Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-396A line 4, 5, and 6
Total ADP Expenditures
(in Millions)
883 867 812 880 835

 


Figure 12: Number of Children in the IV-D Program for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years3

Number of Children in the IV-D Program for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Figure Data: Number of Children in the IV-D Program for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years3
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Source: Form OCSE-396A line 4, 5, and 6
3Includes children 18 years of age and under.
Number of Children 18.9 17.9 17.6 17.3 17.2

 


Figure 13: Number of Unique Persons Matched for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years and Number of Persons in the FCR by Participant Type, FY 2005

Number of Unique Persons (NCPs and PFs) Matched by the FPLS

Figure Data: Number of Unique Persons Matched for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years
FY 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
4The Number of Unique Persons (NonCustodial Parents and Punitive Fathers) Matched is derived by unduplicating SSNs located across all data types (W4, QW, and UI).
Number of Unique Persons
Matched (in Millions)
4.2 4.5 (+7%) 4.6 (+1%) 4.2 (-7%) 4.7 (+7%)

Number of Persons in the FCR by Participant Type

Figure Data: Number of Persons in the FCR by Participant Type
Type of
Participant
NCP PF CP CH
5The figures for the individual participant types are unduplicated within that category but not between them - i.e., an individual may appear in more than one category, but is only counted once within that category. CH – this number may be higher than the total number of children in Figure 12 due to States not closing cases on the FCR even though they are closed in the State’s system and due to States not deleting children off of the FCR case when they have emancipated and no arrears are owed for that particular child.
Number of People (in Millions) 11.4 1.2 12.4 20.0

 


Figure 14: Federal Offset Collections and Percent Change for Six Processing Years

Federal Offset Collections and Percent Change for Six Processing Years

Figure Data: Federal Offset Collections and Percent Change for Six Processing Years
FY 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
6The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 directed the Treasury to send checks to most income taxpayers, giving them an advance payment of a 2001 tax credit. These payments were eligible for offset, and resulted in an additional $262 million in collections for the Federal Offset Program.
7In 2003, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act was passed which included an increase of the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000 per qualifying child effective for the 2003 Tax Year. Because the credit was issued mid-year, the decision was made to issueAdvance Child Tax Credit payments to qualifying families worth $400 for each qualifying child. Also eligible for offset, these payments resulted in an additional $120 million in collections for the Federal Offset Program.
Total Net Collections
(in Billions)
1.39 1.65 (+18.3%) 1.46 (-11.7%) 1.55 (+6.8%) 1.49 (-4.2%) 1.58 (+6.4%)

NATIONWIDE, REGIONAL, AND STATE BOX SCORES


STATISTICAL AND FINANCIAL TABLES

List of Tables

Program Overview

Table 1 Financial Overview for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 2 Statistical Overview for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 3 Program Trends for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Program Collections

Table 4 Total Distributed Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 5 Total Distributed Collections by Current, Former, Medicaid, and Never Assistance, FY 2005

Table 6 Distributed Current Assistance Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 7 Distributed Former Assistance Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 8 Distributed Medicaid Assistance Collections for TwoConsecutive Fiscal Years

Table 9 Distributed Never Assistance Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 10 Distributed TANF/Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 11 Distributed TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 12 Distributed Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 13 Distributed Non-TANF Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Federal and State Share of Collections

Table 14 Federal Share of TANF/Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 15 State Share of TANF/Foster Care Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Undistributed Collections

Table 16 Gross Undistributed Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 17 Net Undistributed Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 18 Percent of Undistributed Collections for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 19 UDC Distribution by Category – 4thQtr, FY 2005

Table 20 Percentage of Itemized UDC by Category – 4th Qtr, FY 2005

Table 21 Net UDC by Age – 4thQtr, FY 2005

Table 22 Percentage of Net UDC by Age – 4thQtr, FY 2005

Other Collections

Table 23 Collections Forwarded to Non-IV-D Cases for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 24 Collections Sent to Other States, FY 2005

Table 25 Total Wage Withholding for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 26 Total Collections Receivedby Method of Collection, FY 2005

Payments to Families

Table 27 Payments to Families for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 28 TANF/Foster Care Payments to Families for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Interstate Activity

Table 29 Interstate Collections Sentto Other States for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 30 Interstate Cases Sent to Another State for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 31 Interstate Cases Received from Another State for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Cost-Effectiveness

Table 32 Cost-Effectiveness Ratio for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Incentives

Table 33 Incentive Payment Estimates for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 34 Incentive Payment Actuals for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Medical Support

Table 35 Medical Support Payments to Families for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 36 Health Insurance Provided as Ordered for Two Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 37 Cases with Orders in Which Medical Support is Ordered for Two Consecutive Fiscal Years

Program Expenditures

Table 38 Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 39 Federal Share of Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 40 State Share of Administrative Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 41 Non-IV-D Costs for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Functional Costs

Table 42 ADP Expenditures for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 43 Expenditures for Laboratory Tests for Paternity Establishment for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Fees

Table 44 Fees and Costs Recovered, FY 2005

Table 45 Fees Retained by Other States for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Program Savings/Costs

Table 46 Total Program Costs for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 47 State Share of Program Savings or Costs for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 48 Federal Share of Program Savings or Costs for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Cases and Caseloads

Table 49 Cases for Which the State Has No Jurisdiction for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 50 Cases Open at the End of the Fiscal Year for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 51 Total Caseload for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 52 Total Caseload by Current Assistance for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 53 Total Caseload by Former Assistance for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 54 Total Caseload by Never Assistance for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Orders Established

Table 55 Total Cases with Orders Established for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 56 Cases with Orders Established by Current, Former, and Never Assistance, FY 2005

Paternities

Table 57 Total Number of Paternities Established or Acknowledged for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 58 Paternity Establishment for Two Consecutive Fiscal Years

Services Provided

Table 59 IV-A Cases Closed Where a Child Support Payment Was Received for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 60 Number of Support Orders Established During the Fiscal Year for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 61 Number of IV-DCases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 62 Cases Sent to Another State for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 63 Cases Received from Another State for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Services Required

Table 64 Cases Requiring Services to Establish an Order for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 65 Children Requiring Paternity Determination Services for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Staff

Table 66 Full-Time Equivalent Staff by State and Local, Cooperative Agreements, and Privatized Offices, FY 2004 and FY 2005

Table 67 Total Full-Time Equivalent Staff for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 68 Costs and Staff Associated with the Central Office of Child Support Enforcement for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Current Support

Table 69 Amount of Current Support Due for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 70 Amount of Support Distributed as Current Support for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Arrears

Table 71 Total Amount of Arrearages Due for All Fiscal Years for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 72 Total Amount of Support Distributed as Arrears for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 73 Cases with Arrears Due for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 74 Certified Federal Offset Caseload and Arrearage Totals, FY 2005

Table 75 Cases Paying Towards Arrears for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Non-Cooperation and Good Cause

Table 76 Cases with Determination of Non-Cooperation for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 77 Cases with Good Cause Determinations for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Children

Table 78 Children with Paternity Resolved for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 79 Total Number of Children for Five Consecutive Fiscal Years

Federal Parent Locator Service

Table 80 Tax Offset and Administrative Offset Programs (TANF and Non-TANF Combined), Processing Year(PY) 2005

Table 81 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), FY 2005

Table 82 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS),Processing Year (PY) 2005

Table 83 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), FY 2005

Table 84 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Number of Cases in the Federal Case Registry (FCR), FY 2005

Table 85 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Number of Unique Persons in the Federal Case Registry (FCR) by Participant Type, FY 2005

Table 86 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Number of Unique Persons in the Federal Case Registry (FCR) Matched by Data Type, FY 2005

Table 87 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Net Collections – Federal Offset Program, Processing Year(PY) 2005

Table 88 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Number of Offsets – Federal Offset Program, Processing Year(PY) 2005

Table 89 Tribal Program Total Collections for Three Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 90 Tribal Program Total Expenditures for Three Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 91 Tribal Program Total Caseload for Three Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 92 Tribal Program Total Support Orders Established for Three Consecutive Fiscal Years

Table 93 Tribal Program Total Paternities Established for Three Consecutive Fiscal Years

GLOSSARY

Financial and Statistical Terms

Program Collections

Table 4 - Total Distributed Collections(Form OCSE-34A, line 8E; beginning in FY 2004, line 8G)

Total amount of collections distributed during the year on behalf of both TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and non-TANF families. Total collections are calculated as the sums of Current IV-A and IV-E Assistance, Former IV-A and IV-E Assistance, Medicaid Never Assistance, and Other Never Assistance.

Table 8 - Distributed Medicaid AssistanceCollections (Form OCSE-34A, line 8E)

The amount of collections received and distributed on behalf of children who are receiving CSE services under title IV-D of the Social Security Act (SSA), and who are either currently receiving or who have formerly received Medicaid payments under Title XIX of the SSA, but who are not currently receiving and who have never formerly received assistance under either title IV-A (TANF or AFDC) or title IV-E (Foster Care) of the SSA.

Table 10 - Distributed TANF/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34A, line 8(A+B) + line 7aC; beginning in FY 2004, line 8 (A+B) + line 7a (C+D))

The portion of total collections received on behalf of families receiving assistance under the TANF program plus children placed in foster care facilities. These collections are divided between the state and Federal governments to reimburse their respective shares of either Title IV-A assistance payments or Title IV-E Foster Care maintenance payments.

Table 13 - Distributed Non-TANF Collections (Form OCSE-34A, lines 7bC + 7cC + 8D; beginning in FY 2004, lines 7b (C+D) + 7c (C+D) + 8 (E+F))

The portion of total collections received on behalf of families not receiving assistance under the TANF/Foster Care programs and distributed to those families during the year.

Federal and State Share of Collections

Table 14 - Federal Share of TANF/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34A, line 12a + 10B; beginning in FY 2004, lines 10aG + 10bG)

The portion of child support collections used to reimburse the Federal government for its share of past assistance payments under Title IV-E and IV-A of the Social Security Act.

Table 15 - State Share of TANF/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34A, line 7aE - line 10E; beginning in FY 2004, lines 7aG - (line 10aG + 10bG))

The portion of child support collections used to reimburse the State government for its share of past assistance payments under Title IV-E and IV-A of the Social Security Act.

Undistributed Collections

Table 17 - Net Undistributed Collections(Form OCSE-34A, line 9bE; beginning in FY 2004, line 9bG 4thquarter)

The amount of collections that remains available for distribution in a future quarter.

Other Collections

Table 23 - Collections Forwarded to Non-IV-D Cases (Form OCSE-34A, line 4E; beginning in FY 2004, line 4)

Those collections received through income withholding and processed through the State Disbursement Unit on behalf of non-IV-D cases that were forwarded to the custodial parent during the quarter.

Payments to Families

Table 27 - Payments to Families (Form OCSE-34A, line 7cE; beginning in FY 2004, line 7cG)

The collections that are distributed either to the family or to the foster care agency to be used on the child’s behalf.

Table 28 - TANF/Foster Care Payments to Families (Form OCSE-34A, line 7c(A+B))

The total amount of collections that are distributed either to the family or to the foster care agency to be used on the child’s behalf.

Interstate Activity

Table 29 - Interstate Collections Sent to Other States (Form OCSE-34A, line 5E; beginning in FY 2004, line 5G)

Amounts received in response to a request for assistance from another State and forwarded during the quarter to that State for distribution, including interstate case and Administrative Enforcement in Interstate (AEI) collections.

Cost-Effectiveness

Table 32 – Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (Form OCSE-34A, lines 5+8+13 divided by OCSE-396A, line 9(A+C) minus 1b(A+C))

The total of collections forwarded to other States, plus total collections distributed, plus fees retained by other States, divided by total current quarter claims and total prior quarter adjustments minus non-IV-D cost.

Incentives

Tables 33 and 34 - Incentive Payment Estimates and Actuals (Form OCSE-34A, line 11E; beginning in FY 2004, line 11G)

The amount of money States earn for running an efficient child support program. This amount is estimated prior to the start of the fiscal year and is reported by the State on a quarterly basis. Actual incentive amounts are computed after the end of the fiscal year and appropriate adjustments are made in State grant awards.

Medical Support

Table 35 - Medical Support Payments to Families (Form OCSE-34A, line 7bE; beginning in FY 2004, line 7bG)

The portion of any collection that corresponds to any amount specifically designated in a support order for medical support. To the extent that medical support has been assigned to the State, medical support collections should be forwarded to the Medicaid agency for distribution in accordance with current regulations. Otherwise, the amount should be forwarded to the family.

Program Expenditures

Table 38 - Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-396A, line 9(A+C))

Total amount of expenditures eligible for Federal funding that is claimed by the State during the year for the administration of the Child Support Enforcement program. Including all amounts claimed during the year, whether expended during the current or a previous fiscal year. The amounts being reported have been reduced by the amount of program income (fees and costs recovered in excess of fees and interest earned and other program income) received by the States.

Table 39 - Federal Share of Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-396A, line 9(B+D))

Net Federal Share of current quarter claims plus prior quarter adjustments.

Table 40 - State Share of Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-396A, line 16(B+D) minus line 11B)

Total State Share of current quarter expenditures plus prior quarter adjustments minus Federal FPLS fees.

Table 41 - Non-IV-D Costs (Form OCSE-396A, line 1b(A+C))

The amount of administrative expenditures attributable to the collecting, entering, maintaining, and processing information relative to non-IV-D child support cases in the State Case Registry and to the processing of non-IV-D child support collections through the State Disbursement Unit. Non-IV-D cases are those for which there is no assignment of support rights to the State or where the State has not received an application for Title IV-D services.

Functional Costs

Table 42 - ADP Expenditures (Form OCSE-396A, lines 4, 5, and 6)

Expenditures made in accordance with the terms of an approved ADP for the planning, design, development, implementation, enhancement, or operation of an automated Statewide Child Support Enforcement System (CSES).

Table 43 - Expenditures for Laboratory Tests for Paternity Establishment (Form OCSE-396A, line 8(A+C))

The amount expended for laboratory costs associated with the process of determining paternity. This amount is the “net” amount of expenditures, reduced by any fees collected by the State to recoup the cost of these services.

Program Savings/Costs

Table 46 - Total Program Costs (Form OCSE-34A, line 7a minus OCSE-396A, line 9(A+C))

Collections that will be divided between the State and Federal Governments to reimburse their respective shares of either Title IV-A assistance payments or Title IV-E Foster Care maintenance payments minus total amount of current quarter administrative expenditure and prior quarter adjustment of administrative expenditure.

Cases and Caseloads

Table 49 - Cases for Which the State Has No Jurisdiction (Form OCSE-157, line 3)

The number of open cases on the last day of the fiscal year over which the State has no jurisdiction.

Table 51 - Total Caseload (Form OCSE-157, lines 1 and 3)

The number of IV D cases open on the last day of the fiscal year, including the number of open cases at the end of the fiscal year as a result of requests for assistance received from other States.

Orders Established

Table 55 - Total Cases with Orders Established (Form OCSE-157, line 2)

The number of IV D cases open on the last day of the fiscal year that have support orders established. Included are cases with orders entered prior to the case becoming a IV D case, as well as cases with orders established by the IV D agency. Judgments for arrears, regardless of whether there is a payment schedule or an order for ongoing support, are also included. Also included are all interstate cases–both cases sent to and received from other States.

Paternities

Table 57 - Total Number of Paternities Established or Acknowledged (Form OCSE-157, lines 10a and 16(b+c+d))

The number of children born out of wedlock in the reporting State for whom paternity has been acknowledged during the fiscal year. Included are children with paternity acknowledged through the State’s voluntary in hospital acknowledgment program and other acknowledgment processes. Also reported is the number of children in cases in the IV D caseload for whom paternity was established or acknowledged during the fiscal year.

Table 58 - Paternity Establishment (Form OCSE-157, lines 5, 6, 8 and 9)

The number of children in the IV-D caseload in cases open at the end of the fiscal year who were born out of wedlock. Also the number of children born out of wedlock in the IV-D caseload in cases open at the end of the fiscal year who have paternity established or acknowledged.

The total number of children who were born out of wedlock in the State during the fiscal year. Also included is the number of minor children who were born out of wedlock in the State for whom paternity has been established or acknowledged during the fiscal year.

Services Provided

Table 59 - IV-A Cases Closed Where a Child Support Payment was Received (Form OCSE-157, line 14)

Includes all cases terminated from TANF during the fiscal year in which there was any child support collection in the month of termination.

Table 60 - Number of Support Orders Established During the Fiscal Year (Form OCSE-157, line 17)

The number of cases in which support orders were established by the IV D agency during the fiscal year. Includes support orders established for medical support or health insurance.

Table 61 - Number of IV-D Cases in Which a Collection was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-157, line 18)

The number of cases for which one or more collections were made during the fiscal year. Included are cases where no support order is established but a voluntary payment was made.

Table 62 - Cases Sent to Another State (Form OCSE-157, line 19)

The number of interstate cases the reporting State sent to other States during the fiscal year. Includes cases submitted for location, establishment of paternity or support order, enforcement of support, or any other IV D activity.

Table 63 - Cases Received from Another State (Form OCSE-157, line 20)

The number of interstate cases received from another State during the fiscal year.

Services Required

Table 64 - Cases Requiring Services to Establish an Order (Form OCSE-157, line 12(b+c+d))

Total number of IV D cases open at the end of the fiscal year that need services to establish a support order

Table 65 - Children Requiring Paternity Determination Services (Form OCSE-157, line 13)

The number of children in cases that are open at the end of the fiscal year who required paternity establishment. This includes all children whose paternity has not been established and children in the process of having paternity established. If there is more than one putative father for a child, this child is only counted once.

Staff

Table 66 - Full-Time Equivalent Staff by State and Local, Cooperative Agreements, and Privatized Offices (Form OCSE-157, lines 30, 31, and 32)

The total number of FTE staff employed by the state and local IV D agencies.

The total number of FTE staff employed by an agency (public or private) working under a cooperative agreement with the IV D agency.

The total number of FTE staff employed by privatized IV D agencies.

Current Support

Table 69 - Amount of Current Support Due (Form OCSE-157, line 24)

The total amount of current support by current, former and neverassistancefor the fiscal year for all IV-D cases. Includes total voluntary collections.

Table 70 - Amount of Support Distributed as Current Support (Form OCSE-157, line 25)

The total amount of support distributed as current support during the fiscal year for all IV-D cases. Voluntary payments are considered current support and should be included even though there is no order to require payment.

Arrears

Table 71 - Total Amount of Arrearages Due (Form OCSE-157, line 26)

The total amount of arrears due and unpaid as of the end of the fiscal year for all fiscal years, including the fiscal year covered by the report. Interest and penalties on arrearages may be included.

Table 72 - Total Amount of Support Distributed as Arrears (Form OCSE-157, line 27)

The total amount of support distributed this fiscal year as arrearages. This amount includes judgments ordered and paid this fiscal year for prior year support.

Tables 73 - Cases with Arrears Due (Form OCSE-157, line 28)

The number of cases with arrears due during the fiscal year, including cases closed during the fiscal year with arrearages.

Tables 75 - Paying Towards Arrears (Form OCSE-157, line 29)

The number of cases in which there was at least one payment toward arrears

during the fiscal year and the total number of IV D cases in which

payments of past due child support were received during the fiscal year. Part or all of the payments were distributed to the family to which the past due child support was owed.

Non-Cooperation and Good Cause

Table 76 - Cases with Determination of Non-Cooperation (Form OCSE-157, line 38)

The number of IV D TANF cases open at the end of the fiscal year in which a determination was made that the custodial parent refused to cooperate with State agencies in identifying and locating the noncustodial parent.

Table 77 - Cases with Good Cause Determinations (Form OCSE-157, line 39)

The number of cases open during the fiscal year in which it was determined by the State that the custodial parent has a good cause for refusing to cooperate with State agencies in identifying and locating the noncustodial parent.

Children

Table 78 - Children with Paternity Resolved (Form OCSE-157, line 7)

The number of children in the IV D caseload open at the end of the fiscal year with paternity resolved. Include all children born within a marriage, legitimized by marriage or adoption and children with paternity established or acknowledged.

Table 79 - Total Number of Children (Form OCSE 157, line 4)

The number of children in the IV D caseload in cases open at the end of the fiscal year. This includes those children who are under age 18.

1 The methodology for estimating collections attributable to the NDNH data can be found in “A Guidebook for a Common Methodology for Determining NDNH-Attributable Child Support Collections” on the ACF Web site.

2 Only State IV-D agencies or the State umbrella agencies of which they are a part can receive the grants. The agencies can contract with other agencies, universities, or private consultants to join in these efforts. States must apply for these funds in response to an OCSE grant announcement.

3 Under the authority of Section 452(j) of the Social Security Act, SIP grants provide Federal funds for research and demonstration programs and special projects of regional or national significance. Eligible applicants include State and local public agencies, non-profit agencies (including faith-based organizations), and Tribal organizations.

4 “The allotment of a State for a fiscal year is the amount that bears the same ratio to $10,000,000 for grants under this section for the fiscal year as the number of children in the State living with only one biological parent bears to the total number of such children in all States.”

5 Data Reliability Review (DRR) is a method used instead of a full-scope DRA when certain States have demonstrated the ability to report data over a period of at least 2 years and have passed all performance standards.

6 The form that States use to report statistical information to the Federal Government.

7 Includes in-hospital and other paternities acknowledged. State paternity acknowledgements include an unknown number of acknowledgements for children in the IV-D caseload.