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Use of the FPLS in Parental Kidnapping and Child Custody Cases

AT-81-12

Published: June 15, 1981
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Locate, Federal Systems, Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)
Tags:
Safeguarding, Social Security Number (SSN), User Fees

FPLS in parental kidnapping and child custody cases.

PROGRAM INSTRUCTION

ACTION TRANSMITTAL

OCSE-AT-81-12

June 15, 1981

TO:STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS

SUBJECT:Use of the Federal Parent Locator Service (PLS) in parental kidnapping and child custody cases.

PURPOSE:This action transmittal: (1) provides States with information on the use of the Federal PLS in child custody and parental kidnapping cases, (2) prescribes specific procedures for using the Federal PLS in connection with such cases, and (3) contains an advance copy of the agreement for use of the Federal PLS in parental kidnapping and child custody cases. The content of this action transmittal is based on draft regulations which are in the Department's clearance process. States should note that the provisions of this action transmittal are subject to change upon publication of final regulations in the Federal Register.

BACKGROUND:The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 is effective on July 1, 1981. Section 9 of the act revises the Social Security Act by amending sections 454 and 455 and adding a new section 463 which allows States to make use of the Federal PLS in connection with the enforcement or determination of child custody and in cases in which the noncustodial parent kidnaps a child.

The Federal PLS was originally designed to assist States with determining the whereabouts of absent parents for the sole purpose of establishing and/or enforcing child support obligations. Section 463 of the Social Security Act now also requires the Secretary, HHS, to make available the most recent home address and place of employment of a person when such information is to be used for (1) enforcing any State or Federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child by a parent, or (2) making or enforcing a child custody determination. Under the new statute, States wishing to use the Federal PLS for this new function must enter into a written agreement with the Secretary, HHS. States should note that, under the statute, agreements are noteffective until publication of final regulations. (See Content section below entitled "Agreement".)

CONTENT: Procedures

The Federal PLS will accept requests from and transmit response to State through the central State PLS or one of its authorized local units. The request must be in the same format as requests submitted for child support enforcement cases. However, child custody and parental kidnapping locate requests must be distinguished from other request to the Federal PLS to enable OCSE to bill for processing these requests, as discussed below. To accomplish this, a code will be entered on the information request form.

Under the statute authorized persons may obtain information in parental kidnapping and child custody cases by requesting the information through a State PLS in a State that has an agreement with the Secretary, HHS. The statute defines authorized persons as agents or attorneys of States that have agreements to use the Federal PLS, courts or agents of courts, and agents or attorneys of the United States, as long as there is authority or jurisdiction to act in connection with a parental kidnapping or child custody case.

The Federal PLS will routinely transmit records requesting address information to other Federal agencies (e.g., Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Department of Defense). Address information received as a result of these searches will be transmitted from the Federal PLS to the central State PLS office or authorized local unit. The formats for sending the information to the State PLS units will be the same as the current Federal PLS formats, except that the cases will be grouped together and identified as child custody and parental kidnapping cases.

Detailed procedures for State submittal of requests to the Federal PLS in parental kidnapping and child custody cases are contained in Attachment 1 to this action transmittal. A draft form for hard copy users is included with these procedures. Once a State enters into an agreement with HHS, the State will be provided with forms, if necessary.

Fee for Processing Requests

The statute prohibits Federal financial participation in costs of initiating and processing requests for information in parental kidnapping and child custody cases. Instead, the law requires that States must impose and collect fees sufficient to cover costs incurred by the State and the Federal government in the initiation and processing of location request. Initially, OCSE will charge a fee of $10 for each request that contains a Social Security Number (SSN), with an additional charge of $4 for each request submitted without an SSN. If the SSN cannot be found, the $10 fee will not be charged since location requests cannot be processed without an SSN. States will be notified by action transmittal in advance of any change in the fee amounts. States will be billed by OCSE on a monthly basis. The method of payment and address where the payment is to be sent will be included with the bill.

Agreement

Attachment 2 to this action transmittal contains an advance copy of the agreement States may enter into with the Secretary, HHS, for use of the Federal PLS in parental kidnapping and child custody cases. The agreement will be published in the Federal Register with the regulations covering parental kidnapping and child custody information requests. The advance copy of the agreement may change upon Federal Register publication and subsequent public comment, but we are including it in this action transmittal so that it will be available to States for review prior to publication of the actual agreement. Once the agreement is published in the Federal Register along with final regulations, State may enter into the agreement. The Governor of the State or the Governors designee must sign the agreement on behalf of the State. The State Attorney General must also sign the agreement to certify that the signing State official has the authority to commit the State to the agreement under State law. The Director of OCSE is authorized to negotiate the agreement on behalf of the Secretary, HHS.

ATTACHMENTS:(1) The procedures for using the Federal PLS in child custody and parental kidnapping cases.

(2) An advance copy of the agreement for use of the Federal PLS in parental kidnapping and child custody cases.

REFERENCES:Section 9 of P.L. 96-611 (See OCSE-IM-81-7), dated May 11, 1981.

INQUIRIES TO:OCSE Regional Representative

Deputy Director

Office of Child Support

Enforcement

ATTACHMENT 1

Procedures for Use of the Federal Parent Locator Service in

Parental Kidnapping and Child Custody Cases

* * * * * * * * * * *

PROCEDURES FOR USE OF THE FEDERAL PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE

FOR CHILD CUSTODY AND PARENTAL KIDNAPPING LOCATE REQUESTS

The Federal Parent Locator Service (PLS) will receive and process locate requests for child custody and parental kidnapping cases in the same manner in which absent parent address requests are now processed. The need to distinguish parental kidnapping address requests from absent parent address requests for accounting purposes has resulted in minor changes to the Federal PLS procedures and formats.

Currently, States that use interactive terminals as their interface with the Federal PLS sign on with their user identification and a security password. A third identifier, called project code, will be added to this sign-on procedure to distinguish the type of address request. All Federal PLS users will be required to enter a project code. The project code "FPLS" will be entered when using the Federal PLS for absent parent address requests. The project code "CSLS" will be entered when the Federal PLS is used for parental kidnapping address requests. Interactive transactions "Input", Delete, and "Modify" will be entered similar to the way "INP" function items are now entered. System prompts for "AFDC CASE Y or N", "PRIVATE CASE - FULL SERVICE", and "PRIVATE CASE - LOCATE ONLY" will be eliminated for parental kidnapping address requests. The project code will automatically provide the identification of cases for parental kidnapping.

Punched card and magnetic tape users must change the codes entered in the "TYPE OF CASE" and "AFDC" fields. In submitting parental kidnapping information requests, the changes that must be made are: (1) When the SSN is known, record type 1, position 36 must contain a "C" and position 37 must contain a "2"; (2) When the SSN is unknown, record type 3, position 36 must contain a "C" and position 37 must contain a "2". Other than placement of these constants, no other changes will be necessary.

Hard copy users will fill out a modified version of the form OCSE-4, which has been designated the OCSE-4A. On the OCSE-4A, it will not be necessary to fill out the "TYPE OF CASE" questions in blocks 35 and 36. The constants "C" and "2" will be printed in these boxes.

Parental kidnapping addresses returned by the Federal PLS will beseparate from the absent parent address returns. They will be identified as parental kidnapping cases in the report title. In addition to the present reports, additional statistics will be provided and bills for the service will be produced.

Each time a parental kidnapping locate request is accepted as valid and added to the Federal PLS master files, a billing record is created. States will be billed monthly for use of the Federal PLS. States should not submit any payments until a bill is received. Fees for parental kidnapping locate requests will be assessed as follows:

1. Search of Federal files for addresses $10.00

2. SSN search and search of Federal files for addresses $14.00

3. SSN search which does not yield an SSN

(therefore, not resulting in a Federal file search) $ 4.00

Payments submitted by the States will be posted as soon as they are received by the Federal PLS.

PUNCHED CARD AND TAPE FORMAT

PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE REQUEST

(PARENTAL KIDNAPPING)

General - This format is similar to the regular Federal PLS

input except for the AFDC and TYPE CASE fields.

These requests can be intermixed with regular re-

quests. If they are sent separately, the header

and trailer records must be present.

A. HEADER RECORD

RCD/CD TYPE COL. LENGTH DESCRIPTION

0 1,1 " 0 "

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,8 DATE (MM/DD/YY)

B. REQUEST WHERE SSN IS KNOWN

RCD/C9 TYPE COL. LENGTH DESCRIPTION

1. 1,1 " 1 "

2,1 TRAN TYPE - A, M, R, L

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,15 CASE ID

21,9 SSN

30,3 LOCAL ID

33,1 MIL.SERVICE - 1,2,3,4,5,9

34,1 RETIRED MIL - Y or N

35,1 V.A. BENEFITS - Y or N

36,1 TYPE OF CASE (ALWAYS "C")

37,1 LOCATE ONLY (ALWAYS "2")

38,1 RECENT EMPL ADR - Y or N

39,22 UNUSED

61,20 ALIAS (LAST NAME ONLY)

2. 1,1 "2"

2,1 UNUSED

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,15 CASE ID

21,9 SSN

30,15 FIRST NAME

45,15 MIDDLE NAME

60,20 LAST NAME

80,1 UNUSED

C. REQUESTS WHERE SSN IS UNKNOWN

RCD/TYPE COL. LENGTH DESCRIPTION

3. 1,1 " 3 "

2,1 TRAN TYPE -A,M,R,L

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,15 CASE ID

21,9 UNUSED

30,3 LOCAL ID

33,1 MIL.SERVICE - 1,2,3,4,5,9

34,1 RETIRED (MIL.),- Y or N

35,1 V.A. BENEFITS - Y or N

36,1 TYPE OF CASE (ALWAYS "C")

37,1 LOCATE ONLY (ALMOST "2')

38,1 RECENT EMPL. ADDR -Y or N

39,22 UNUSED

61,20 ALIAS (LAST NAME ONLY)

4. 1,1 " 4 "

2,1 UNUSED

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,15 CASE ID

21,9 UNUSED

30,15 FIRST NAME

45,15 MIDDLE NAME

60,20 LAST NAME

80,1 UNUSED

5. 1,1 " 5"

2,1 UNUSED

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,15 CASE ID

21,8 DATE OF BIRTH (MM/DD/YY)

29,20 PLACE OF BIRTH (CITY)

49,20 PLACE OF BIRTH (STATE)

69,12 UNUSED

6. 1,1 " 6 "

2,1 UNUSED

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,15 CASE ID

21,10 FATHERS FIRST NAME

30,1 FATHERS MIDDLE INITIAL

32,19 FATHERS LAST NAME

51,10 MOTHERS FIRST NAME

61,1 MOTHERS MIDDLE INITIAL

62,19 MOTHERS LAST NAME

D. TRAILER RECORD

RCD/TYPE COL. LENGTH DESCRIPTION

9. 1,1 " 9 "

3,2 STATE ABR

5,1 STATION NUMBER

6,9 BATCH TRANSACTION COUNT

----------------------------------------------------------------

See hard copy for Form HEW-OCSE-4A

INSTRUCTIONS

The date submitted must appear on each form. It may be stamped.

A. For every request, complete this section.

1.Transaction Type- Choose the most applicable code from the list included on the form and enter the correct number in the appropriate box.

2.State Abbreviations- Enter the standard two letter State Abbreviation code.

3.Station Number- Enter the three position State parent locator office submitting the request. (The first office established will be 001).

4.Case Identification Number- Enter the State Case Identification Numbers. The Case Identification Number may be composed of up to 15 alphanumeric characters. In the absence of a Social Security Number, the Case Identification Number becomes the key field for internal control of State requests. Consequently, if a request is lacking both an SSN and Case Identification Number, it will be rejected.

5.Social Security Account Number - Enter the Social Security Account Number of the absent parent in the boxes provided for this item. If the Social Security Account Number is not known, complete item 4, Case Identification Number.

6.Local Identification Number--Enter up to three alphanumeric characters for an optional code to identify local agencies, jurisdictions, etc. . .

7.Military Service--Choose the most applicable code from the list provided on the form to indicate if the absent parent is (was) in a branch of the military service and to specify the branch. Note: The "9" for "not in service" must be used, not the code "N".

8.Retired Military--Enter "Y" in the box provided if the absent parent is retired from active military service. Enter "N" if the absent parent is not retired.

9.Type of Case- Always C 2

Non-AFDC: Enter "1" if the request is for full service; enter "2" if the request is for locate only.

10.Veteran Benefits- Enter "Y" if the absent parent is receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration. Enter "N" if he does not receive benefits.

11.Recent Employer's Address- Enter "Y" if the State Parent Locator Service has an employer's address for the absentparent that is more current than eight months old. Enter"N" if the State Parent Locator Service does not have an address for the absent parent that is more current than eight months old.

12.Federal Employee-- Enter "Y" if the absent parent is believed to be a Federal Civil Service Employee.

13.Alias- Enter last name if available for both known and unknown requests.

14.Name of Absent Parent--Enter the first, middle, and last names of the absent parent in the boxes provided.

B. If the social security number is unknown, complete this section.

Refer to OCSE-AT-77-15 for a complete description of the requirements for cases submitted for establishment of an SSN.

15.Date of Birth--Enter the date that the absent parent was born. Note that the slashes to separate month, day, and year are already marked.

16.Place of Birth- Enter the city and state where the absent parent was born in the boxes provided.

17.Father's Full Name-- Enter the complete (first, middle, and last) name of the absent parent's father in the boxes provided.

18.Mother's Maiden Name-- Enter the maiden name of the absent parent's mother, in the same manner as item 15, Father's Full Name.

ATTACHMENT 2

Advance Copy of Agreement for Use of the Federal Parent Locator Service of the Office of Child Support Enforcement to Locate Persons Sought in Connection with Child Custody and Parental Kidnapping Cases regulations.*

*May be subject to change upon publication of final regulations.

Use of the Federal Parent Locator Service of the Office

of Child Support Enforcement to Locate Persons Sought in Connection with Child Custody and Parental Kidnapping Cases

(Agreement with the State in accordance with section 463 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 663))

AGREEMENT

Between

The Director of the Office of Child Support Enforcement and

and

The State of _______________

The Director, Office of Child Support Enforcement, hereinafter

referred to as the Director, and the State of ______________,

hereinafter referred to as the State, in accordance with sections

454 (17) and 463 of the Social Security Act and the regulations

promulgated thereunder hereby agree to the following:

Article I

DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this agreement--

A. The term "Act" means the Social Security Act.

B.The term "authorized person" means (1) any agent or attorney of any State having an agreement under this section, who has the duty or authority under the law of such State to enforce a child custody determination; (2) any court having jurisdiction to make or enforce such a child custody determination, or any agent of such court; and (3) any agent or attorney of the United State, or of a State having an agreement under this section, who has the duty or authority to investigate, enforce or bring a prosecution with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child.

C.The term "custody determination" means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the custody or visitation of a child and includes permanent and temporary orders, and initial orders and modifications.

D.The term "Director" means the Director, Office of Child Support Enforcement, who is the Secretary's designee to administer the Child Support Enforcement program under title IV-D of the Act.

E.The terms "Federal Parent Locator Service" or "PLS" mean the Parent Locator Service operated by OCSE pursuant to section 452(a)(9) of the Act.

F.The "Office of Child Support Enforcement" or "OCSE" mean the separate organizational unit within the Department of Health and Human Services with the responsibility for theadministration of the Child Support Enforcement program.

Article II

Duties of the Director

A.The Director, through the Federal PLS, shall provide the State IV-D agency the data specified in part B of this Article for the purpose of determining the whereabouts of any absent parent or child when this data is to be

used to locate such parent or child for the purpose of:

(1) enforcing any State or Federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child; or

(2) making or enforcing a child custody determination.

B.Pursuant to Part A of this Article, the Director shall provide the State IV-D agency the most recent home address and place of employment of any absent parent or child.

Article III

Requests for Data

A.The State shall make requests to the Director for the most recent home address and place of employment of a parent or child solely for the purpose of (1) enforcing any State or federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child; or (2) making or enforcing a child custody determination.

B.The State shall make the requests for information defined in part A of this Article only on behalf of authorized persons to the Federal PLS through the State parent locator service that is operated by the State agency described in section 454 of the Act.

C.The State shall submit requests for information defined in part A of this Article to the Federal PLS in the standard format and exchange media normally available to or used by the State parent locator service.

D.The State shall identify all requests for information defined in part A of this Article in a manner prescribed by OCSE so that such requests can be distinguished from child support enforcement location requests submitted to the Federal PLS in order that a proper accounting can be made of amounts due the Federal government under part E of this Article.

E.The State shall impose, collect and account for fees to offset the costs to the State and OCSE incurred in processing requests under part A of this Article.

F.The State shall periodically transmit the fees collected to cover the costs of the Federal PLS in processing requests for information defined in part A of this Article in the amount and in the manner prescribed by OCSE

in instructions.

Article IV

Confidential Nature and Limitation on Use of Information and Records

The State shall adopt policies and procedures to ensure that information obtained from the Director under this agreement shall be used and disclosed solely as provided in section 463 of the Act. Under this requirement, the State shall:

(1)Restrict access to the data to authorized personnel whose duties or responsibilities require access in connection with child custody and parental kidnapping cases;

(2)Store the data during nonduty hours or when not in use, in a locked container, within a secure area that is safe from access by unauthorized persons;

(3)Process the data under the immediate supervision and control of authorized personnel, in a manner which will protect the confidentiality of the data, and in such a way that unauthorized persons cannot retrieve the data by computer, remote terminal, or other means;

(4)Brief all employees who will have access to the data onsecurity procedures and instructions;

(5)Send the information directly to the requestor and make no other use of the information;

(6)After the information is sent to the requestor, destroy all confidential records and information related to the request.

Article V

Limitation of Liability

The Director shall not be responsible for any financial loss incurred by the State, whether directly or indirectly, through the use of any data furnished pursuant to this agreement.

Article VI

Terms of Agreement

This agreement shall begin on and end on . It will automatically be renewed for successive periods of one year unless the State or the Director gives written notice not to renew at least 30 days before the end of the current period.

Article VII

Termination and Modification of Agreement

A. This agreement may be terminated or modified in writing at any time by mutual consent of the parties hereto.

B. The Director or the State may terminate this agreement at any time upon 30 days written notice to the other party.

In Witness Whereof, the parties hereby execute this agreement this day of , 1981.

The Secretary, Health and Human Services

BY___________________________________________

_____________________________________________

_____________________________________________

(Title)

_____________________________________________

(State)

BY___________________________________________

_____________________________________________

(Title)

_____________________________________________

_____________________________________________

(Address)

I, , certify that I am the Attorney General of the State of ; that , who signed this agreement on behalf of the State, was then of said State; and that he is authorized to enter into this agreement on behalf of the State and that there is authority under the laws of the State of to carry out all functions to be performed by the State as provided herein and comply with the terms of this agreement.

______________________________________

Signature of the Attorney General