Project Save Our Children (PSOC) Procedures


Publication Date: January 26, 2011



DATE: January 26, 2011

TO: State Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans Under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and Other Interested Individuals

SUBJECT: Project Save Our Children (PSOC) Procedures



The Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 made failure to pay child support a class B federal misdemeanor offense. The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of June 1998 created new categories of federal felonies for the most egregious child support violators. They are: 

  • Title 18 U.S.C. §228(a)(1) and (a)(3) - Failure to pay legal child support obligations, wherein the United States must prove that:
    • A defendant failed to pay a support obligation.
    • The defendant acted willfully in failing to pay the support obligation.
    • The support obligation was for a child who resides in another state.
    • The support obligation remained unpaid for longer than 1 year for the misdemeanor or in the case of a felony prosecution, 2 years or the amount of the past due obligation is greater than $5,000 for a misdemeanor, or in the case of a felony prosecution, is greater than $10,000.

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §228(c)(2), a second or subsequent violation of 18 U.S.C. §228(a)(1) is also a felony.

  • Title 18 U.S.C. §228 (a)(2) - Interstate or Foreign Flight to Evade Child Support Obligation. To sustain its burden under 18 U.S.C. §228(a)(2), the United States must prove that:
    • A defendant traveled in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to evade a support obligation.
    • The support obligation remained unpaid for a period of 1 year or longer, or is greater than $5,000.

In 1998, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Department of Justice, created Project Save Our Children (PSOC) to coordinate efforts in support of activities resulting from the federal criminal non-support laws.

For the past several months, OCSE suspended work on PSOC cases while we reviewed the program to restructure the process for submitting cases for enhanced PSOC locate and criminal prosecution for non-support. Attached are the new procedures for requesting enhanced PSOC locate and making PSOC criminal non-support referrals.


PSOC cases are referred to OCSE by state CSE offices via PSOC referral forms. There are two distinct PSOC referrals (forms and processes), depending on the service needed.

  1. PSOC Locate Services — When a state CSE agency is unable to locate the person or assets of an obligor who appears to be appropriate for PSOC criminal action using all available state and Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) locate resources, the state CSE agency (through its PSOC Coordinator) may then refer the case to OCSE’s PSOC Locate Analyst to obtain multiple years of wage data and/or additional location information from commercial on-line sources.
  2. Criminal Prosecution for Non-Support — Criminal non-support referrals are sent by the State PSOC Coordinator to the OCSE PSOC Coordinator for processing to the OIG. Referrals are signed by the official(s), designated by the state IV-D director, who certifies that:
    1. the case is believed to meet statutory criteria for federal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. §228 and
    2. the state has exhausted all available and reasonable alternative enforcement remedies.

REFERENCES: Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 228(a)(1), (a)(3) and (c)(2) DCL-11-01

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 24, 2011

INQUIRIES TO: email OCSE PSOC Coordinator

Vicki Turetsky
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Current as of: