Statement by NCSEA 2016-2017 President Joe Mamlin on the Release of the Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs Final Rule
NCSEA (the National Child Support Enforcement Association) expresses strong support for the Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs final rule, issued by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement on December 20, 2016. NCSEA serves a wide variety of child support professionals across the nation who provide services ranging from direct family casework, interaction with the legal system and courts, program administration, financial processing, and technology, all of whom support the millions of families who rely on our services for self-sufficiency. It is on behalf of these child support professionals that NCSEA supports this rule.
The goal of the federal child support program and of the ongoing work of NCSEA’s membership is to find ways to improve outcomes for families and to respond to the needs of the people we serve. For many years, NCSEA has been active in making recommendations to continue to improve the program for all families so that children receive the support they deserve and help families reduce or eliminate reliance on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and other social service programs. Many of NCSEA’s initial recommendations were contained in the proposed rule published in November 2014. NCSEA also offered significant comments and suggested revisions after the proposed rule was published, in collaboration with our members, and it is clear that those comments were weighed carefully and addressed in the final rule.
This rule increases the effectiveness of the program for families and provides additional flexibility to state, tribal, and local child support agencies to help the families we serve. The rule also reduces regulations, enabling agencies to use their limited resources to further increase the accuracy and accountability of support orders. The rule clarifies, streamlines, and provides additional helpful guidance for child support agencies to continue to improve services for both parents receiving support and parents paying support (formerly custodial and non-custodial parents, respectively).
NCSEA is encouraged by the final rule, and appreciates the process that allowed for extensive comments from child support practitioners and other stakeholders affected by the rule. It is our belief that the rule represents a culmination of ideas from a diverse and bi-partisan group, with the sole purpose of improving the child support program. It supports modernization, efficiency, local decision-making, and fairness to all parties.
We look forward to the opportunity to provide further information and resources to educate both child support professionals and the public on the new rule, and to assist in the enactment of the provisions of the rule through our professional development and training offerings.