About the Office of Child Support Enforcement
OCSE is the federal government agency that oversees the national child support program.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Scott Lekan, we help child support agencies in states and tribes develop, manage, and operate their programs according to federal law using effective child support enforcement tools.
OCSE does not provide services directly to families. We partner with state, tribal and local child support agencies and others to encourage parental responsibility so that children receive financial, emotional, and medical support from both parents, even when they live in separate households.
State, tribal, and local agencies
Child support agencies provide these services to families:
- Locate noncustodial parents
- Establish paternity
- Establish and enforce support orders
- Modify orders when appropriate
- Collect and disburse child support payments
Either parent may apply for services. Grandparents or other custodians may also apply.
To learn more about the child support program, watch this short video.
Each state and tribe operates its child support program a little differently. They offer services to all who need them, regardless of income, residency, nationality, or gender.
In fiscal year 2017, preliminary data shows the national program collected $32.4 billion and served 15.1 million children and their families.
Learn more about the national child support program:
- Fact sheet
- A one-page graphic about collections, caseload, and cost-effectiveness
- FY 2016 Annual Report
- Child Support Handbook
- A one-page graphic on the 3 steps to apply
- A storybook on how we work with families
Parents and family members can also find useful resources on our Parents page.
Want to learn more about OCSE? Check out our Fact Sheet! There, you can read about our mission, purpose, goals and more to get a better sense of how our program serves children and families.Learn More