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Location of Custodial Parties through the Federal Parent Locator Service


Published: March 7, 2003
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Federal Systems, Federal Case Registry (FCR), Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), National Directory of New Hires (NDNH)
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)
Location Systems, Undistributed Collections


DATE: March 7, 2003


RE: Location of Custodial Parties (CPs) through the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)

Dear Colleague:

We would like to remind states that the FPLS can be a valuable tool in locating CPs as well as serving its more traditional role in locating noncustodial parents. The National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) and external locate sources can provide the most recent employment and address information for all persons requiring location, including CPs. This information may be critical to states in their efforts to resolve undistributed collections.

Updated NDNH data are automatically sent to states for CPs registered on the Federal Case Registry (FCR). The first option is to program the state system to store these data. If the data are not stored and the location of a custodial parent is required, the state system may automatically transmit a request for an NDNH and "external sources locate request" to the FPLS to locate address and/or employer information. Additionally, state systems or state staff may initiate an FCR query to identify any other states that have information about a CP. The resulting response provides the most recent information available in the FPLS. The information returned in response to an FCR query or in an FCR-to-FCR proactive match includes non IV-D as well as IV-D participants.

In situations where automated systems do not generate locate requests, state child support enforcement programs may regularly search the FPLS for the location of a custodial parent. States may choose to run special batch programs to identify CPs whose whereabouts are unknown. The FPLS can accommodate states that would like this service.

We are interested in states' success in resolving undistributed collections. Use of the FPLS to find CPs is an important part of that effort.

If you have any questions, please contact your State Technical Support Liaison.


Sherri Z. Heller, Ed.D.
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators