DATE : September 30, 2014
TO : State and Tribal Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and Other Interested Individuals
SUBJECT : H.R. 4980: Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014
PURPOSE : The “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014,” H.R. 4980, was signed by the President on September 29, 2014. This action transmittal provides a summary of the child support provisions in this law.
The Congress finds that increased parental access and visitation is a double win for children - improving parent-child relationships and increasing child support collection. As such, it is the sense of the Congress that establishing parenting time arrangements when obtaining child support orders is an important goal which should be accompanied by strong family violence safeguards. States should use existing funding sources to support the establishment of parenting time arrangements, including child support incentives, Access and Visitation Grants, and Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants.
The law amends section 452 of the Act, by adding a new subsection, at the end: “(o) Data Exchange Standards for Improved Interoperability.” The law requires the Secretary, in consultation with an interagency work group established by the Office of Management and Budget, to designate data exchange standards to govern necessary categories of information that state agencies operating programs under state plans approved under this part are required under applicable law to electronically exchange with another state agency and federal reporting and data exchange required under applicable law. Additionally, the Secretary shall issue a proposed rule within 24 months after the date of the enactment of this section. The rule shall identify federally required data exchanges, including specification and timing of exchanges to be standardized, and addressing the factors used in determining whether and when to standardize data exchanges. It should also specify state implementation options and describe future milestones.
In conjunction with the strategic plan, the Secretary is directed to review and provide recommendations for cost-effective improvements to the child support enforcement program funded under title IV-D of the Social Security Act and ensure that the plan addresses the effectiveness and performance of the program, analyzes program practices, identifies possible new collection tools and approaches, and identifies strategies for holding parents accountable for supporting their children and for building the capacity of parents to pay child support, with specific attention given to matters including front-end services, ongoing case management, collections, tribal-state partnerships, interstate and intergovernmental interactions, program performance, data analytics, and information technology. This shall be done in consultation with stakeholders including state, tribal, and county child support directors; judges who preside over family courts and organizations that represent the judges; custodial and noncustodial parents and the organizations that represent them; and fiduciaries such as financial institutions and employers. The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress not later than June 30, 2015, which will include:
The law amends section 454A(g)(1) of the Act to add the requirement that by October 1, 2015, states shall transmit orders to employers for the withholding of income at the option of the employer, using the electronic transmission methods prescribed by the Secretary.
INQUIRIES: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers
Office of Child Support Enforcement