The Case Initiation Center for Child Support Services (the “CIC”) was authorized in early 2015, hired its first employees in June of 2015, and held its first Training Academy in August of 2015.
The CIC was created to centralize the following 4 basic case initiation tasks into one location for all of Oklahoma Child Support Services:
- Receive and process electronic referrals from DHS for recipients of TANF and Foster Care;
- Receive and process electronic referrals from DHS or HCA for recipients of SoonerCare;
- Receive and process Child Support Applications for Services; and
- Receive and process Summary of Support Orders to establish Non-IV-D case records.
Subsequently, additional tasks were added to the CIC scope of responsibilities at the request of CSS.
Initial Case Initiation Centralization
Child Support Services (CSS) opens cases per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC): 340:25-5-117:
- Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Support Services (CSS) automatically initiates child support cases without additional application for certified Title IV-A, Title IV-E foster care, non-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and SoonerCare (Medicaid).
Child Support Services is mandated by law to open a child support case for each situation described in the above OAC.
Child Care Subsidy Note: On March 3, 2020 the Director of OKDHS changed the OAC agency policy through OHS 20-01 (paraphrased):
effective immediately, cooperation with CSS is no longer a condition of eligibility for child care subsidy recipients. AFS will no longer refer child care subsidy only cases to CSS through computer interface not require subsidy applicants to complete a CSS application prior to applying for child care subsidy. All staff should tell individuals of their option to receive child support services by completing a CSS application online at okbenefits.org. Individuals who have other benefits along with child care subsidy, e.g. TANF, SoonerCare, foster care, will continue to be electronically referred to CSS per existing law and policy. CSS staff will no longer initiate noncooperation requests for these clients; although they may close existing child care subsidy only cases upon the customer’s request.
CIC works these electronic case referrals in preparation for immediate district office action. Before processing cases, CIC identifies and verifies and reconciles party information such as: names, relationships, addresses, and all identifying information. In order to effectively resolve data discrepancies, CIC has partnered with DHS Adult and Family Services and Child Welfare staff to ensure consistency of information across each DHS computer system.
The SoonerCare (Medicaid) referrals predominately come from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (HCA) for Medicaid recipients. HCA sends information electronically to CSS nightly for Medicaid applicants and children residing in their household. If there is a match to the parties and a child support case record in status 04, CIC will receive a CSE referral. If there is a match to the parties and the case is in status 01, CIC will receive a quarantine list referral for CIC staff to research and determine if a CSS case should be opened. This is based upon what type of HCA services the recipients are receiving and the level of service the applicant has requested. When there are no matches between HCA and CSS systems, there is no action or referral required. Additionally, in September 2017, CIC began building referrals per limited telephone call requests from HCA customers interested in pursuing CSS services.
CIC also receives private applications from parties requesting a child support case. These applications are received daily and may include additional paperwork from the party, such as child support orders, guardianships, protective orders, etc. Once all work is complete, the applications are scanned and dropped to the CSS District Office electronic folder.
With the creation of the CIC in August of 2015, the Central Case Registry (CCR), which initiates Non IV-D cases, merged with CIC. CCR receives the Summary of Support Order (SOSO) for every private child support entered by a District Court in the State of Oklahoma. This Non IV-D case setup allows CSS to process any employer-paid collections through the Centralized Support Registry as required by Oklahoma law. Note: If a child is on a non-IV-D case and the case is later certified to receive TANF, the non-IV-D case converts to a full-service IV-D case.
With this service, CSS is not providing any child support services other than pass-through payment processing. CCR also processes all incoming forms for Family Violence (ADRFC/N) and various other address forms.
CIC, from its inception, has included data clean-up in its training and the daily work of case initiation which includes resolving duplicate DCNs (department client numbers), FGN assignment errors, Social Security number issues, and many other problematic areas with the data in OSIS. It is expected that the cleaner the data, the smoother the integration of information from “OSIS” to “OK Benefits” in the future.
Each month CIC processes 2,000 – 2,500 electronic referrals and 850 – 1,200 Applications each month. With the expansion of CIC duties, CIC also processes approximately 1,200 – 1,500 AOPs and 200 – 300 incoming intergovernmental cases monthly. All CIC case building tasks have far exceeded federal timeliness requirements.
Expansion of CIC Responsibilities
In October of 2015, when DHS closed and decentralized the DHS Imaging Center, CIC assumed the imaging functions for CSS. The CSS imaging process includes two separate areas -Acknowledgments of Paternity (AOPs) and employer and insurance documents from the Employer Service Center (ESC). These documents are scanned, reviewed, and posted into a retrievable database for all CSS District Offices to access. At the time of conversion of this task to CIC more than 1 million pages of CSS documents were being imaged each year.
In July of 2016, CIC was asked to add the functions of case building related to Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) and the CSS Intergovernmental Central Registry (ICR).
- When an AOP is signed, the original is sent to Vital Records and a copy to CSS. The AOP team confirms that the AOP is valid by conducting legal research before building a case record or adding the child to an existing case. The AOP team processes 1,200 – 1,500 AOP’s per month. Processing includes: building cases, scanning copies of AOP’s, and following up on legal issues that might make an AOP invalid.
- The CSS Intergovernmental Central Registry (ICR) receives and processes 200-300 incoming referrals from other States, Tribal or International Child Support Agencies each month. These referrals can be for Enforcement, Establishment of Paternity and Child Support Orders, Modification and a variety of limited services. ICR reviews incoming referrals to ensure required information and documents are received to process the referral. ICR communicates directly with the initiating/referring agency to request any missing information or documents. Referrals that have the information necessary to initiate a CSS case are worked within ten business days and forwarded to the CSS District Office. In addition, ICR assists in facilitating communication between the other states case worker and CSS District Offices.
CIC’s goal continues to be improving quality control through consistency and accuracy of information within the case initiation processes. CIC hosts a Liaison meeting periodically to provide CSS District Offices an opportunity to interact with CIC staff and management to continually improve CIC service.