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General Information about Child Support Services

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What is the Child Support Services program?

Child Support Enforcement (CSE) is a national program established by Congress in 1975 to ensure that both parents are responsible for the support of their children to the best of their ability.  This program, now known in North Carolina as Child Support Services (CSS), provides CSS Services to the custodians of minor children, regardless of income level.

CSS agents help locate noncustodial parents (NCPs), establish the paternity of the child(ren), and petition the court to order child support payments.  Once a court order has been established, incoming child support payments are receipted at CSS’s Centralized Collections Operation, which manages the collection and disbursement of all ordered child support payments in the state.  To enforce child support orders, CSS agents can initiate legal action against the NCP, withhold support payments from the NCP’s wages, and intercept the NCP’s tax refunds

Visit this link for more information about the Federal Child Support Enforcement Program.

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Customer Service

Anyone with a child support case can get information on their case using the web or telephone,
eChild Support: The North Carolina eChild Support web site was implemented in February 2002 and has been a tremendous success with custodial and noncustodial parents. They use this tool to quickly obtain information about their case and payment information. Registered users are up to 76,950. About 6,500 people go to the website daily, and send an average of 100 emails requesting such services as case information or address changes.

Customer Service at 1-800-992-9457: The state-of-the-art customer service center assists callers 24 hours a day with an automated voice response system as well as personalized assistance between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm. The facility received an average of 140,000 calls a week. Monthly surveys were conducted from January to July of 2003, and found that 94 percent of callers were satisfied with the service received and 96 percents agreed that the customer service representative was courteous and professional.

Role & Responsibilities of the CSS Agency

CSS agencies:

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North Carolina CSS Organization

The Governor of North Carolina has designated the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as the CSS Agency.  N.C. General Statutes 110-128 through 110-142.2 authorize DHHS to supervise the child support program.  DHHS has designated the Division of Social Services (DSS) to be responsible for this program.  The Child Support Services (CSS) Section exists within DSS.

Some counties have placed their CSS program under the authority of county DSS, some counties have placed it under Revenue or the County Attorney, and recently some counties have elected to offer services by contracting with private companies.  There are currently 101 Child Support Offices- 76 under the authority of County DSS, 7 under the authority of Revenue or the County Manager, 17 under contract with private companies and 1 Tribal Office. Regardless of who operates the local CSS office, the same regulation, laws, and state policies apply.

A staff of CSS Regional Program Representatives is responsible for providing consultation and program assistance to all local programs.

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Brief History of the CSS Program

In 1935, Congress enacted the Social Security Act to ease financial problems that had arisen during the Great Depression.  Title IV-A of the Social Security Act established a public assistance program that offered financial assistance to families due to death of the father.

In response to increasing numbers of applications for assistance due to parental abandonment, the first actual child support legislation was enacted in 1950.  This legislation required welfare agencies to report all applications for assistance due to abandonment by a parent to law enforcement agencies.

In 1975, Title IV-D was added to the Social Security Act to establish a nationwide Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program, with the purpose of recouping money paid out to welfare recipients when at least one parent was absent from the home and did not provide support.  N.C. General Statutes 110-128 through 110-142.2 established North Carolina’s CSE (now CSS) program.  These federal and state laws set forth the requirements for the program.

Additional legislation has been enacted over the years to expand the scope of the CSS program.

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The ACTS System

The N.C. CSS program uses a statewide computer system called ACTS (Automated Collection and Tracking System) to assist in the performance of its duties.  This system receives and shares data with more than thirty (30) state, federal, and private agencies.

ACTS supports the functions needed to perform CSS activities at the local and state level, including case management, financial management, document and report generation, and supervisory functions.

CSS caseworkers use ACTS to add/update cases, enter/modify court order data after a hearing, review payment and collection activities, perform enforcement activities such as income withholding, assets attachment, and tax intercepts, document their activities in the case record online, and interact with CSS agencies in other states.

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We strive to keep this information as accurate as possible. If information on this page needs to be updated, please Email us.


Page Modified 09/23/2014

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