The goal of Washington State’s University Partnership demonstration was to build a relationship between the child support agency and local university. It leveraged university scholars with significant public policy expertise to analyze child support data to inform decision-making and improve program effectiveness. Washington partnered with the University of Washington and MEF associates to test two strategies to improve enforcement efforts and analyze their effectiveness. The two interventions tested were:
Whether creating a dedicated, specially configured and trained team to work on state-debt, arrears-only cases improved collection outcomes;
Whether sending billing statements to the obligor noncustodial parent improved collection outcomes.
The partnership also analyzed the state’s caseload to identify how varying case characteristics affect the likelihood that child support obligations will be paid.