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Release of New Access and Visitation Program Data for Services Provided to Parents in FY 2006

DCL-08-25

Published: June 12, 2008
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies, Access & Visitation Program
Topics:
Family Services & Referrals, Parenting Time/Access & Visitation
Types:
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)

DCL-08-25

DATE: Jun 12, 2008

ATTACHMENT: Child Access and Visitation Grants - State/Jurisdiction Profiles for FY 2006

TO: All State IV-D Directors, All State Child Access and Visitation Program Coordinators

RE: Release of New Access and Visitation Program Data for Services Provided to Parents in FY 2006 (October, 2005 - September, 2006)

Dear Colleague:

I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the attached document, "Child Access and Visitation Grants: State/Jurisdiction Profiles for FY 2006."

The goal ofthis $10 million per year, legislatively mandated grant program is " ... to enable states to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate non-custodial parents' access to and visitation of their children ... " Allowable services include: mediation, development of parenting plans, counseling, parent education, visitation enforcement (supervised visitation and neutral drop-off), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.

This report is divided into three sections:

  • Section I: Overview;
  • Section II: National Data Trends; and
  • Section III: State/Jurisdiction Profiles.

This document highlights access and visitation services provided by States to over 73,000 parents during October 1,2005 - September 30, 2006. In addition, this report also includes information on the socio-economic characteristics of parents served and, of particular importance, linkages to state, local, court, community, and faith-based service providers.

A summary ofthe year-in-review is as follows:

  • Number of Parents Served: Over 73,000 parents were served in FY 2006.
  • State Efforts Focused on Unmet Child Access Needs of Unmarried Parents: The largest group of parents served were unmarried parents (32 percent) with divorced parents the second largest group (19 percent). Approximately 11 percent ofparents were separated and 10 percent reported they were married to each other. No marital status data were reported for 28 percent.
  • Majority of Clients Are Low-Income: Continuing the trend of the last several years, the majority ofparents served earned less than $29,000. These parents are less likely to afford the services of a mediator and/or lawyer to resolve parenting disputes over access and visitation.
  • Number of Parents Showing Increased Parenting Time: In FY 2006, 25, 667 parents had increased parenting time with their children compared to 21,874 in FY 2005.

For a more comprehensive review and discussion of these findings and other data please refer to the attached document. This report is also available on OCSE's website.

Given that the Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Access and Visitation Program often serve the same children and families, I thank all of you for recognizing the need for program collaboration. This report is evidence that our joint partnership is working to provide access services to those who need them.

Sincerely,

Margot Bean
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosure

cc: OCSE Regional Program Managers