NPRM: Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs
DATE: November 17, 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: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs
ATTACHMENT: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2014 (Vol. 79 FR No. 221 68548)
SUMMARY: In developing this proposed regulation, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) conducted a retrospective review of its rules and consulted with states, tribes, and other groups to improve state flexibility and efficiency, to update policies to meet the needs of families, and to incorporate technological advances. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) updates existing rules, some of which are 35 years old, and proposes changes that will help modernize the Child Support Enforcement program.
We believe these changes bring OCSE’s regulations into better alignment with current knowledge and practices in the field. They strengthen interstate case processing, streamline program administration, incorporate advances in technology, and remove regulatory barriers to cost-effective approaches to increase regular support payments, provide for a balanced approach to program administration, and carry out public policy goals related to increasing financial stability for families and improving child well-being.
The proposed regulatory improvements are grouped in the following categories: (1) procedures to promote program flexibility, efficiency, and modernization; (2) updates to account for advances in technology; and (3) technical corrections. The goals of the regulation are to:
- increase state and employer flexibility to better serve families;
- improve program effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation;
- improve customer service; and
- remove barriers identified by employers, states, and families that impede efficient and timely child support payments.
To assist the reader in reviewing the NPRM, the following table lists subject areas in the NPRM with the corresponding page numbers where the provision is discussed in the Federal Register (FR). Please note that this table is a guide and is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the NPRM.
|SUBJECT AREAS||FR Preamble
Page #s 
|Regulatory Text Page #|
|Access to justice||553-554; 557-559; 568;||580; 581-582; 584|
|Case closure||560-564; 572; 574||582-583|
|Child support guidelines||553-554||580|
|Due process protections in civil contempt proceedings||557||581|
|Federal financial participation activities allowed||567-569||584-585|
|Federal financial participation activities prohibited||569||585|
|Foster Care||551; 562; 574||579; 583; 585|
|Incarceration of noncustodial parents||554-557; 559; 561; 567-568||580-582|
|Job Services||556-559; 568-569||581-582; 585|
|Limited services for applicants||551-552; 561||579-580; 583|
|Medicaid referrals / Indian health services||562-564||578; 583|
|Medical support||559-560; 563-565; 572; 574||578; 583-584|
|OMB-approved income withholding form||566-567||584|
|Parenting time||556; 567-568;||580; 584-585|
|Payment processing||550-553; 566-567; 573||579-580; 584|
|Review and adjustment of orders||559-560||582|
|SSI / Title II benefits||561; 569-570||582; 586|
|Subsistence needs||555; 557; 560-562; 569;||580-582|
|Tribal case transfers||562-563||583|
REFERENCES: 45 CFR 301, 302, 303, 304, and 307.
COMMENTS: We encourage you to review and submit comments on the proposed rule. Consideration will be given to comments received by January 16, 2015. Every comment counts!
ADDRESSES: You may transmit written comments electronically via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. This approach is our preferred method for receiving comments. To download an electronic version of the rule, you may access http://www.regulations.gov and follow the provided instructions.
Additionally, you may send comments via United States Postal Service to: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: Director, Division of Policy and Training, Mail Stop: OCSE/DP, 370 L’Enfant Promenade, SW, Washington, DC 20447.
You also may send comments via overnight service to: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: Director, Division of Policy and Training, Mail Stop: OCSE/DP, 901 D Street SW, Washington, DC 20447.
You also may submit comments by facsimile to (202) 260‑5980. Comments will be available for public inspection. To schedule an appointment, please call (202) 401-9271.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers
 The NPRM is on pages 68548 – 68587 of the Federal Register (FR). For spacing purposes, we have truncated the page numbers to the last three digits.