History of the Child Support Program
The Child Support Program is the government program responsible for the collection and distribution of payments and medical support enforcement to support children in single-parent (single-guardian) families.
The Child Support program is under the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Child Support Services (OCSS).
The OCSS Core Mission is to Locate Parents, Establish Paternity, Establish Orders, and Collect Support. The six complementing missions to help them accomplish their core missions are:
- Economic Stability.
- Engagement of Fathers from Birth.
- Child Support Prevention.
- Family Violence Collaboration.
- Health Care Coverage.
- Healthy Family Relationships.
The image below reflects the OCSE core mission with complementing missions:
You can periodically review the Federal Office of Child Support Services to be conversant in this program for your own awareness as well as to inform your customers what can be found on the federal child support office web page.
In addition, to keep up-to-date on the issues and events in the child support arena, both nationally and internationally, you might want to subscribe to the free OCSS Child Support Report newsletter.
Other resources can also be found at the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
You may also want to review the Child Support Resource Guide, which is a publication of the ACF/OCSS, with access through the CSQuest article, Child Support Resource Guide – 2nd Edition, July 2021.
Social Security Act, Title Ⅳ-D
The Child Support Program was established by Congress in 1975, with the Social Security Act, Title IV-D, which:
- Required all states to establish State Child Support Enforcement agencies;
- Provided federal reimbursement for each state’s enforcement costs for AFDC and non-AFDC population.
At the time Congress established the Child Support Program in 1975, it had four goals in mind:
- Reimburse State and Federal Government for welfare expenditures;
- Make the problem of non-support more visible to the general public;
- Remove families from assistance by increasing the amount of support they receive;
- Help families avoid going on assistance by enforcing the payment of support.
Child Support Enforcement Amendments – 1984
- Required enforcement remedies;
- Established national standards.
Family Support Act – 1988
- Increased emphasis on enforcement remedies;
- Increased emphasis on paternity
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) – 1993
- Pushed states to increase paternity establishment;
- Mandated that insurance providers and employers offer dependent health coverage to children even if the child is not in the custody of the employee in the plan. OBRA created Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCSO).
The Welfare Reform Act – 1996
The “Welfare Reform Act” Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). PRWORA amended the Title IV-D Act of 1975—the initial law that established the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE).
- Under PRWORA, each state must operate a child support enforcement program that meets federal requirements in order to be eligible for certain grants.
- Title IV-D also provided federal reimbursement for each state’s enforcement costs for the TANF and non-TANF population.
- AFDC Replaced by TANF
- PRWORA eliminates the open-ended federal entitlement of individuals to cash assistance under the Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) Program, and replaces it with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states.
- With few exceptions, welfare recipients must work after two years, while those who have received assistance for a total of five years (fewer at state option) will be ineligible for cash aid.
Who Can Obtain Child Support Enforcement Program Services?
Child support services are available to all parents or legal guardians with custody of a child who has a parent absent from the home.
Families receiving benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), daycare or Medicaid are required to cooperate with child support services.
Non-custodial parents are generally ordered by courts or administrative process to pay for the support of their minor children.
- Standardized guidelines are used to determine the amount of support the non-custodial parent must pay;
- Income, the needs of the child, and whether or not the non-custodial parent is supporting other dependent children may be considered.
To ensure all children are supported by their parents.
- The Child Support Program reduces the TANF and Medicaid expenditures (and taxpayer dollars).
- Money collected from the NCP is used to reimburse the costs of the TANF grants in TANF cases. Any excess amount goes to the custodial parent.
- Money collected from the NCP is forwarded to the family in non-TANF cases.
Life of a Child Support Case
The life of a child support case often follows a functional path. The functional areas include:
- Case Initiation/Intake/Case Opening
- Paternity Establishment
- Order Establishment
- Interstate – Intergovernmental
- Medical Support
- Case Closure
History of Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Born of the Dust Bowl in 1936 –
Hunger and homelessness may still exist in Oklahoma, but they are no longer the unexceptional fact of life they once were. Children and people with disabilities are no longer warehoused in state institutions. The poorest families have access to medical care and people can get help in their home communities. Parents who cannot earn enough to support their children have a chance at education and training that was unheard of two generations ago.
On November 6, 2012 Oklahoma voters passed another state constitutional amendment changing the Department’s governance structure. The amendments abolished the Commission for Human Services and replaced it with citizen advisory panels in the areas of: Aging Services, Developmental Disabilities Services, Children and Family Services, and Administration. This change would also affect the head of the state agency, requiring the director of OKDHS to report to the governor and become a gubernatorial appointee with senate confirmation.
The original constitutional name remains — the Department of Public Welfare — as does the constitutional mandate: “…to promote the general welfare of the people of the State of Oklahoma…for their protection, security, and benefit.”
Although the agency continues to evolve since its creation in 1936, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ mission still reflects that original constitutional mandate–to help individuals and families in need help themselves lead safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives.
Deborah Shropshire, Director, Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Keitha Wilson, Program Administrator, Children’s Services
Renee Banks, Director, Child Support Services
DHS Child Support Services
Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Support Services (CSS) acts as an economic advocate for the children of Oklahoma; ensuring parents financially support their children. It helps families become self-sufficient, and for those who are not receiving public assistance to remain self-sufficient.
CSS State Office (STO) serves CSS district offices through many vital functions. Under the leadership of CSS Director Renee Banks, the STO is organized with 5 centers which cover the following areas:
- Center for Business Excellence & Customer Service – Center Head Brittany Thompson
- Center for Coordinated Programs – Center Head Anthony Jackson
- Center for Finance and Budget – Center Head Andrea Giezentanner
- Center for Professional Development – Center Head Victoria Harrison
- Center for Operations – Center Head Elizabeth Wilson.
For more information about CSS State Office and CSS in general, access CSS State Office Centers and Partners.
Access CSQuest article Onboarding Handbook Overview.