$1.39 million awarded to improve child support collections across jurisdictions

Nine child support agencies will soon begin testing how child support programs can improve intergovernmental case processing and collections from parents who live in different states, tribes, or counties from their child.

Awarded by the Office of Child Support Enforcement within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF), nine new awardees will participate in the Intergovernmental Case Processing Innovation Demonstration grant to test innovations that will increase payments on intergovernmental cases and improve case processing procedures for parents.

“Approximately one million cases in the child support caseload are intergovernmental, and intergovernmental casework has gotten more complex in the United States as the child support program has expanded,” said Scott Lekan, Commissioner of the Office of Child Support Enforcement. “It is my hope that creative thinking and experimentation in working this challenging part of the child support caseload will help us better serve parents and children, as well as maximize collections for families.”

A jurisdiction is defined as a state, tribe, or county. Intergovernmental child support cases are cases sent from one jurisdiction to another because a child’s parents live in separate locations covered by different jurisdictions. Intergovernmental cases are essential to ensuring that a parent supports his or her children regardless of where they live. As intergovernmental caseloads grow, the need for innovation and improvement in intergovernmental case processing is also growing.

The demonstration grant project will provide seven states and two tribal child support agencies with funding to make improvements to their existing intergovernmental case processing procedures and systems. The child support agencies will develop and test innovations likely to increase payments on intergovernmental cases, and implement procedures to increase their efficiency and customer service.

“It’s not uncommon for interstate cases to involve multiple child support agencies that each have different laws, policies, and procedures. These situations make sharing information, transferring data, and communicating with other jurisdictions challenging,” said Lekan. “Our goal with this demonstration is to help them develop creative and innovative processes that they can share with the entire child support program. Better case processing will help us maximize collections for the children and families who need and depend on regular, consistent child support payments.”

All grant projects must incorporate procedural justice principles, behavioral economics concepts, and enhance communication strategies to accomplish the project objectives. Grants may also be used to acquire and/or enhance technical capabilities that could improve intergovernmental case processing. The grantees can test improvements to system automation, staffing, data analysis, and system analysis. Tribal grantees may also use the funding to complete the technical steps required to gain access to the national parent location computer network operated by the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

For only the second time, tribal child support programs are receiving funding under Section 1115(a) of the Social Security Act. While state child support programs have been able to receive Section 1115 funding for years, Congress amended the statute in 2014 making tribal child support programs eligible to receive the funding as well.

The following states are recipients of the intergovernmental case processing demonstration grants:

  • California Department of Child Support Services
  • : Sacramento, California

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

  • Colorado Department of Human Services
  • : Denver, Colorado

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

  • Indiana Department of Child Support Services
  • : Indianapolis, Indiana

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

  • North Dakota Department of Human Services
  • : Bismarck, North Dakota

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services
  • : Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

  • Virginia Department of Social Services
  • : Richmond, Virginia

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

  • Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
  • : Olympia, Washington

FY 2020 Award: $170,000

The following tribes are recipients of the intergovernmental case processing demonstration grants:

  • Fort Belknap Indian Community
  • : Harlem, Montana

FY 2020 Award: $100,000

  • The Klamath Tribes
  • : Klamath Falls, Oregon

FY 2020 Award: $100,000

For additional information about the federal child support program, please visit: Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Quick Facts

  • The Intergovernmental Case Processing Innovation Demonstration grant will test innovations that will increase payments on intergovernmental cases and improve case processing procedures for parents.
  • Intergovernmental child support cases are cases sent from one jurisdiction to another because a child’s parents live in separate locations covered by different jurisdictions.
  • Intergovernmental cases are essential to ensuring that a parent supports his or her children regardless of where they live.

Quotes

“Approximately one million cases in the child support caseload are intergovernmental, and intergovernmental casework has gotten more complex in the United States as the child support program has expanded. It is my hope that creative thinking and experimentation in working this challenging part of the child support caseload will help us better serve parents and children, as well as maximize collections for families.”
Scott Lekan, Commissioner of the Office of Child Support Enforcement
“It’s not uncommon for interstate cases to involve multiple child support agencies that each have different laws, policies, and procedures. These situations make sharing information, transferring data, and communicating with other jurisdictions challenging. Our goal with this demonstration is to help them develop creative and innovative processes that they can share with the entire child support program. Better case processing will help us maximize collections for the children and families who need and depend on regular, consistent child support payments.”
Scott Lekan, Commissioner of the Office of Child Support Enforcement
Last Reviewed: September 30, 2019
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