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State Child Access and Visitation Programs

DCL 00-35

Published: March 13, 2000
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Family Services & Referrals, Parenting Time/Access & Visitation
Types:
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)

DCL 00-35

MAR 13, 2000

TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS

Dear Colleague:

I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement's (OCSE) report on "State Child Access and Visitation Programs". This report was compiled by American Institutes for Research based upon data submitted from States on the results of their 1997 Access and Visitation Programs.

States report serving almost 20,000 recipients. Most States provide a mix of allowed services (e.g., mediation, counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement (including monitoring, supervision and neutral drop-off and pickup), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements). The most popular services by number of recipients are: parental education (over 10,000), followed by development of parenting plans (4,700), mediation (3,700), and supervised visitation (3,400).

Other key findings:

  • Most of the services are conducted by non-profit agencies and the courts; States rarely provide direct services.
  • Referrals to services are from the courts, the client (self-referral), child support, child welfare, and other social service agencies in that order.
  • About half of the programs are pursued together with other funded programs.
  • Services are provided to a wide range of racial and ethnic groups including:

19% Afro-Americans, 10% Hispanics and 1% Native Americans.

  • Half of the services are provided to divorced couples, with about an equal split of the remainder between separated and never-married families.
  • Most projects serve both urban and rural areas.

Sincerely yours,

/S/

David Gray Ross,
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosure

(Attachment Not Available On-Line)