Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS)

In September 2014, OCSE awarded Section 1115 grants for the BICS project Visit disclaimer page  to 8 state child support agencies in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. In addition, OCSE awarded a grant to Washington to manage the evaluation of the project Visit disclaimer page .

Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services Demonstration Program (BICS) was a five-year demonstration project that allowed states to explore individual behavior and decision-making ability when it comes to child support. Known as behavioral economics, this approach uses insights from psychology and related fields to explain why and how people act. BICS grantees are testing how strategies from behavioral economics can be used to improve child support services. Note: While the project period for BICS has ended, additional reports are forthcoming.

Final Report on BICS Demonstration

Image of cover page of BICS final report with 2 gears

Summarizes ways 8 states used behavioral interventions to improve child support services

Applying Behavioral Insights to Increase Collections

Low-cost, low-effort interventions informed by behavioral science insights can improve child support outcomes

Initial findings show that low-cost, low-effort behavioral interventions can improve child support outcomes

Top BICS Resources

Dates and Deadlines: Behavioral Strategies to Increase Engagement in Child Support

April 25, 2018

Summarizes an intervention on voluntary service acceptance tested by the Georgia Division of Child Support Services

Read Dates and Deadlines: Behavioral Strategies to Increase Engagement in Child Support

Lessons Learned from the BICS Demonstration Grants

March 28, 2019

A 2018 article series from the Child Support Report

Read Lessons Learned from the BICS Demonstration Grants

Start Smart: Using Behavioral Strategies to Increase Initial Child Support Payments in Texas

April 1, 2019

Summarizes an experiment in Texas that increased payments in the initial months after order establishment

Read Start Smart: Using Behavioral Strategies to Increase Initial Child Support Payments in Texas

Explainers and Case Managers: Engaging California Parents during Child Support Order Establishment

August 8, 2019

Summarizes an intervention tested in California that increased parental engagement in the order establishment process

Read Explainers and Case Managers: Engaging California Parents during Child Support Order Establishment

Streamline or Specialize: Increasing Child Support Order Modification Reviews in Ohio

August 14, 2019

Summarizes interventions tested in Ohio that increase completion of child support order modification reviews

Read Streamline or Specialize: Increasing Child Support Order Modification Reviews in Ohio

A Better Resolution: Reaching Child Support Agreements Between Parents in Vermont

September 26, 2019

Summarizes the behavioral intervention tested in Vermont OCSE's under the BICS grant

Read A Better Resolution: Reaching Child Support Agreements Between Parents in Vermont

Meetings and Reminders: Testing Approaches to Increase Child Support Payments in Colorado

January 6, 2020

Summarizes an experiment in Colorado designed to increase payments in the months immediately following order establishment

Read Meetings and Reminders: Testing Approaches to Increase Child Support Payments in Colorado

Last Reviewed Date: