Virginia Staffing Demonstration
DEC 15, 2000
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Virginia Staffing Demonstration
Attached is a report of a study completed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, entitled "Virginia Staffing Demonstration." The research sought to determine the role that staffing standards play in the performance of local child support offices. The report shows that staffing levels make a significant difference in performance and productivity in a local child support office. Increasing staff to the "optimal" level not only increased overall collections but also increased collections per employee. The size of the increases depends, in large measure, on how the additional staff are used, whether they were assigned to help existing (functional) specialists or caseworkers, or given their own caseload to work.
Research was conducted in one small office (fewer than 13,000 cases) and one large office (more than 22,000 cases). The Delphi methodology was used to establish time standards for six discrete child support functions: performing customer intake, locating the non-custodial parent, establishing paternity and/or a support obligation administratively, establishing child support judicially (paternity establishment and/or support obligation), enforcing obligations, and providing customer service.
The findings suggest that staffing has a statistically significant, positive impact on performance and that the Delphi methodology is a good way to develop staffing standards. They also show that it is possible and relatively easy to determine the correct number of staff for a local office and that the process does not have a negative impact on the office during the development cycle. And, finally, they show that how staff are deployed is equally as important a consideration as the number of staff employed in an office.
Contact the OCSE Reference Center at (202) 401-9383 for additional copies of the report.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Attachment (Available in Hard Copy Only)