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SIP Grants Awarded in FY 2008

Published: October 1, 2008
Information About:
Special Improvement Project (SIP) Grants
Types:
Grants, Promising Practices
Tags:
Competitive Grant

California

Kern County Department of Child Support Services

"It (Pregnancy) Did Happen to Me" Young Adult and Teen Parental Outreach Project

This three-year grant responds to 2008 Priority Area One: Child Support and Paternity Establishment Outreach to Targeted Demographic Groups - Unwed Teen and "20-Something" Parents. Under this grant, Kern County Department of Child Support Services (KCDCSS) will develop a peer-to-peer presentation distributed by multi-media targeted for this age group. KCDCSS expects to improve its performance in the key child support measures of collections, paternity and support order establishment.

The Project will consist of an Advisory Board consisting of key partners including the participation of unwed young adult and teen parents, as well as staff from the Kern High School District (KHSD), Kern County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) and the KCDCSS. The Advisory Board will provide the voice, set the direction and be instrumental in the approach and validation of the testing and approval of materials and the methods of communicating that child support should be a reliable source of income. These young adults and teens will first ensure that the Project’s title sets the "theme" and sets the course for the Project that will address the entire child support process of establishment, enforcement and parental responsibilities.

The KHSD Career Resource Department (primary youth services provider) will provide access to and training of unwed young adult and teen parents on the Advisory Group to facilitate training of their peers on the establishment and enforcement services made available through the KCDCSS. Also, it will provide the staff for training of participating unwed teen parents and the bridge to further develop the involvement and partnership with the local high schools and their video production programs. It will train the Advisory Group’s young parents from the "Makin It" curriculum which teaches facilitators to use youth cultural competencies in their delivery. It will utilize its partnering high schools’ audio visual programs, faculty and students for inclusion in the Advisory Group and to produce the media selected to support this project.

Grant Number: 90FI0097
For Information, Contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period: 07/01/2008-06/30/2011 (Extended to 6/30/2012)


California

Santa Clara County, Department of Child Support Services

The Collaborative Approach to Support Assistance at the 99 Notre Dame Superior Court Facility (CASA 99) Project

This three-year grant responds to 2008 Priority Area Two: Initiating Child Support and Court Collaboration to Improve Operating Efficiencies of Both Entities and Client Outcomes. Under this grant Santa Clara County, Department of Child Support Services (SCCDCSS), will partner with the Santa Clara County Superior Court Family Law Facilitator’s Office (FLF) to target self-represented parents seeking FLF services in order to better address their child support needs.

The Collaborative Approach to Support Assistance at the 99 Notre Dame Superior Court Facility (CASA99) Project proposes to co-locate a SCCDCSS Attorney at the same facility as the FLF. The attorney would be dedicated to assist parents seeking the services of the FLF, so that they may resolve their child support issues immediately, rather than having to wait 30-50 days for a court hearing. Working with the FLF as partners streamlines the process, thereby encouraging parents to participate in their child support cases and meet the financial and emotional needs of their children.

In addition, by working closely with the FLF, SCCDCSS seeks to obtain accurate orders and increase collection of child support through the timely processing of cases. Many of the parents seeking assistance from FLF are unemployed; SCCDCSS will encourage parents to take advantage of the services provided by two workforce investment boards (Work 2 Future and NOVA). These agencies will have information available at the Notre Dame Courthouse for parents seeking employment. By increasing employment resources available to parents, they will be more likely to meet their support obligations.

Grant Number: 90FI0101
For Information, Contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period: 07/01/2008-06/30/2011


Colorado

Center for Policy Research

Debt Compromise Programs: Best Practices and Child Support Outcomes

This grant responds to 2008 Priority Area 3: Projects in Support of OCSE PAID Initiative (Project to Avoid Increasing Delinquencies). The Center for Policy Research (CPR) proposes to help States and local jurisdictions reduce delinquencies by developing and/or revising arrears compromise programs and assessing their impact. Five States are participating -- CA, MD, MN, ND, TN (these States want to expand/improve their programs and TN would be a pilot program).

This project will involve compiling information on debt compromise programs and relevant outcomes. Site staff at the State and local level would participate in a two-day meeting in Washington, DC to discuss criteria for case eligibility, debt compromise terms, program staffing, staff training, corrective actions for those who fail to comply, and program evaluation. Each site would develop an action plan to guide development/improvement of their debt compromise programs and/or an evaluation plan. Following the meeting, CPR would assist sites with implementing their action plans and the evaluation process, including designing tools to assess the impact of arrears compromise on the payment of support and arrears balances. CPR would help with data collection, analyze the information that is generated and compare the results across the sites. The project would result in a report that summarizes best practices, implementation issues and any outcome information generated at the participating sites. It would provide States and local jurisdictions with needed guidance regarding the structure and operation of effective debt compromise programs.

Currently, there are a limited number of debt compromise programs that have been initiated and a small number of participants in these types of programs. Different programs have different rules comparing various program policies and assessing their strengths and limitations. By evaluating programs across multiple jurisdictions using common assessment tools, the project would generate outcome information for a larger number of cases over a longer span of time. CPR will assess payment outcomes and arrears balances for cases subject to debt compromise strategies. Information will be drawn from the automated child support enforcement records for each participating jurisdiction using automated extract or manual look-ups by trained data collectors.

Grant Number: 90FI0098
For Information, Contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period: 07/01/2008-6/30/2011 (Extended to 6/30/2012)


Colorado

Denver County Department of Human Services

Project Good to Know (GTK)

This three-year grant responds to 2008 Priority Area One: Child Support and Paternity Establishment Outreach to Targeted Demographic Groups-Unwed Teens and "20-Something" Parents. Under this grant, the Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS) Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) proposes Project Good to Know (GTK). CSED will determine effective marketing communications strategies to increase child support collections among the teen and twenty-something population.

The project will target approximately 1000 unwed teen and twenty-something parents in the Denver County CSE system. GTK will (1) educate young unwed parents on the importance of establishing paternity and child support and (2) identify ways in which other government agencies and community-based organizations can strengthen these efforts. GTK will conduct market research to determine best communications practices (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, MySpace) to engage the target population, including user-generated media and cellular-based communications. GTK will hold multiple focus groups of unwed parents (male and female) in this age group to assist in designing and marketing paternity and related child support materials covering the entire child support process. Materials will be culturally and linguistically sensitive. GTK will design and conduct a pilot testing strategy before finalizing products.

Goals:

•Increase awareness among 80% of project participants through creative, effective communications (web-based media, pod casts and cellular communications/text messaging)
•Identify ways in which other government agencies and community-based organizations can strengthen these efforts (feedback from focus groups and pilot testing).


Grant Number: 90FI0094
For Information, Contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period: 07/01/2008-6/30/2011 (Extended to 12/31/2011)


The Urban Institute

New York (NY) Non-Custodial EITC: Can it Increase Compliance

This grant responds to 2008 Priority Area 3: Projects in Support of OCSE PAID Initiative (Project to Avoid Increasing Delinquencies). The primary objective/outcome of this project is to ascertain whether NY’s new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for NCPs increases child support compliance.

In 2005, NY enacted "Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers Initiative" which consists of two approaches to address the problem of child support non-compliance among low-income NCPs. First, NY funded 5 pilot sites to provide employment and other services to these NCPs. Second, NY provided a state refundable tax credit for NCPs who pay their entire current support for a year and have low earnings. The EITC would be up to a maximum of $1,030 credit. By enacting an EITC for low-income NCPs, NY is attempting to increase child support collections by subsidizing the payment of child support which should further encourage NCPs to pay child support.

The Urban Institute is currently under contract with NY to evaluate the "Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers Initiative" and to conduct a process evaluation of the NCP EITC. The SIP grant will be used to do an impact analysis for NCP EITC. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) each January gives the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) a list of all NCPs who are child support eligible for NCP EITC. DTF uses this list to verify whether individual taxpayers who claim NCP EITC are child support eligible. However, DTF can only share aggregate results with OTDA regarding the number of taxpayers who file for NCP EITC.

Thus, the primary input for the Urban Institute analysis will be case-level administrative data (without personal identifiers) for the "child support eligible" population from OTDA. OTDA will also give Urban Institute the same type of information for all NCPs who have a current support order. Urban will use a multivariate statistical analysis. The NY EITC legislation sunsets at the end of 2012 and NY will need to decide whether or not to continue this policy. This analysis should also inform others, including jurisdictions considering this type of legislation.

The Urban Institute will use "difference-in difference" analysis which will enable them to further isolate the impact of NCP EITC. The treatment group will consist of those who are just barely eligible for NCP EITC, while the comparison group will consist of those who just miss being eligible for NCP EITC. The second difference will consist of examining the child support payment behavior of the treatment and comparison groups before and after the NCP EITC was enacted.

Grant Number: 90FI0096
For Information, Contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period: 7/01/2008-6/30/2011


Iowa

Department of Human Services, Des Moines, Iowa

Electronic Data Exchange Connection (EDEC)

This three-year grant responds to 2008 Priority Area Two: Initiating Child Support and Court Collaboration to Improve Operating Efficiencies of Both Entities and Client Outcomes. The Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU-Iowa IV-D Agency) and Iowa Judicial Branch (Iowa Courts) project will improve and streamline customer court filings by planning, developing and implementing a business workflow process and electronic data transfer system. Through this method of data exchange, customers not only have the opportunity to access imaged documents, but also the ability to find out where in the court process their case exists. CSRU and Iowa Courts have created a User Workgroup to provide feedback on the development, design and implementation of the project. They will use basic uniform standards in accordance with the National Child Support-Judicial Task Force’s (NCSJTF) plans. CSRU will evaluate current processes and will establish a standard to improve the efficiencies gained through e-filing.

Objectives:

1.Improve and expedite customer service between families, CSRU and Iowa Courts by: demonstrating to families the high level of importance on providing timely information and quicker case activity processing; making information available to all parties to facilitate cooperation with CSRU and the Courts; and supporting the NCSJTF initiative that "Enhanced collaboration is key to fulfilling commitment to children and families."
2.Standardize workflow and implement a data based electronic exchange of information between CSRU and the Iowa Courts by: improving staff efficiency and data accuracy as prioritized by the NCSJTF and create court documents that are standardized for both entities; and supporting NCSJTF’s vision to exchange information electronically on a national level by using NIEM 2.0 xml as the protocol to communicate between both parties.
3.Decrease the process time taken to file, adjust, modify, and enforce child support orders: direct exchange of data elements and pdf files which will transfer information faster between CSRU and Iowa Courts; and ensuring information between CSRU and Iowa Courts will be posted and accessed in real time making it available to customers quicker.
Grant Number: 90FI0095
For Information, Contact:ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period:07/01/2008 - 06/30/2011 (Extended to 3/30/2012)


Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED)

Self-Help Information Portal (SHIP) Project: Expanding Web-Based Services for Child Support Customer

This three-year grant responds to 2008 Priority Area Two: Initiating Child Support and Court Collaboration to Improve Operating Efficiencies of Both Entities and Client Outcomes. This project will greatly expand the child support information and services currently available to customers on the OKDHS website. A new SHIP website will be designed and five computer workstations will be placed in child support office lobbies so customers can conveniently access the SHIP website. The workstations will be located in offices with differing demographics, such as smaller rural offices and larger metropolitan offices and in different regions of the state, in order to determine areas of need and demand. Customers will have access to a variety of information about the child support program and services, pro se (on one’s own behalf) modification of child support orders, employment and other services designed to help overcome obstacles to collecting or paying child support.

In addition to the workstations in child support offices, customers will be able to access the SHIP website (needs personal pin number to access secure data) on any computer with internet access at home or a public library. The SHIP website and workstations also will be a new resource for CSED employees who want to refer customers to information or services. CSED employees could access the website in a court environment using a laptop computer and wireless connection. This would be especially useful for the CSED Court Liaisons who work with customers in conjunction with problem-solving courts.

The pro se component is an important feature which builds on an existing collaboration between CSED and the administrative court. Customers who want to represent themselves in a court action to modify their child support order can prepare pro se pleadings online and print onsite. They can also find instructions and an instructional video about the court process. The pro se component will make the process more accessible, user-friendly and efficient. Customers will be more knowledgeable and better prepared for court, enabling judges to spend more time considering the facts of the case.

CSED and OKDHS’ Office of Planning, Research and Statistics will develop evaluation methods in order to measure program success in the areas identified. Web users will complete a survey for suggestions on what worked well and needed improvements. Links usage will be tracked and SHIP website user activity will be matched to the CSED database to track changes in filing pro se motions to modify CSE orders, court hearings held/outcomes, and changes in payment frequency/amount.

Grant Number: 90FI0100
For Information, Contact: ACFOCSEGrantsinfo@acf.hhs.gov
Project Period: 07/01/2008-06/30/2011