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OCSE's Video on "The Power of Two: Voluntarily Acknowledging Paternity"

DCL-99-116

Published: October 28, 1999
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Paternity Establishment
Types:
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)

TO:    ALL IV-D DIRECTORS

RE:    OCSE's Video on "The Power of Two: Voluntarily Acknowledging Paternity"              

Dear Colleague:

I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement’s (OCSE) video on "The Power of Two: Voluntarily Acknowledging Paternity." This video was developed with the involvement of the OCSE Paternity Establishment Workgroup representing staff from state child support agencies and OCSE central and regional offices. The purpose of this video is two-fold:

1.To help states comply with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) which requires that all unwed mothers and fathers be provided an oral, as well as written, explanation of their legal rights, responsibilities, and consequences of voluntarily signing a paternity acknowledgment; and

2.To encourage state child support offices to mass-produce copies of this video and distribute them to persons and/or organizations (i.e., birthing hospitals, local child support offices, vital records agencies, community-based fatherhood programs, etc.), assisting unwed parents in the voluntary establishment of paternity for their children.

The directors of all state and territory Child Support Enforcement offices are being provided with a "beta master" or original copy of this national paternity video. (The video is 11 minutes, 25 seconds long). The reason for this is that additional information on state-specific laws, policies and procedures for establishing paternity can be added (tagged) at the end of the video. States might also want to include a listing of toll-free phone numbers and/or addresses of child support offices that unwed parents can contact with their questions and requests for assistance.

At the Federal level, this office will be distributing complimentary copies of the video to various national organizations (i.e., American Hospital Association, National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, etc.). The paternity video will also be disseminated to other Federal agencies which share an interest in the establishment of paternity for children born outside of marriage.

We are very interested in hearing from you or your staff regarding the effectiveness of this video in communicating to unwed parents the benefits, legal rights, and potential financial responsibilities of signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. We hope that we have accomplished this goal in a way that encourages the full participation of both the mother and the father in the lives of their children.

Sincerely,

David Gray Ross
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosure