While programs vary from State to State, services are available to all parents who need them.
The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program is a Federal/State/local partnership to collect child support: the program sends the strongest possible message that parents cannot walk away from their children. The goal is to ensure that children have the financial support of both their parents, to foster responsible behavior towards children, and to reduce welfare costs.
The CSE Program was established in 1975 as Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. It functions in all States and territories, through the State/county Social Services Department, Attorney General’s Office or Department of Revenue. Most States work with prosecuting attorneys, other law enforcement agencies, and officials of family or domestic relations courts to carry out the program at the local level.
State Child Support Programs locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, establish and enforce support orders, and collect child support payments. While programs vary from State to State, their services are available to all parents who need them.
The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It helps States develop, manage, and operate their programs effectively and according to Federal law. The Office pays the major share of State program operating costs, provides policy guidance and technical help to enforcement agencies, conducts audits and educational programs, supports research, and shares ideas for program improvement.