This topic contains information on the following subjects:
Since custodial parent (CP) awareness of and involvement in case activities can be of significant benefit to effective case management, local CSS should keep CPs informed of the status of their cases.
Case managers should advise CPs of the available administrative and judicial opportunities for case management and solicit CP input and information. CP communication can include notification of scheduled court hearing dates, issues or barriers to completion of actions, results of specific actions, negotiations or agreements with the noncustodial parent (NCP), requests for information from the CP, or other issues regarding the management of the case.
Additionally, federal law requires CSS to notify CPs of certain case activities. (See below.)
Section 454 of the Social Security Act includes a requirement that CSS agencies inform both custodial parents (CPs) and noncustodial parents (NCPs) of pending proceedings and of the resulting orders.
CSS must provide:
CSS should document this notification by filing a Certificate Of Service (DSS-4619) in the court file and recording the date and method of service in the CSS case record.
Federal Regulation 45 CFR 303.35 requires state CSS programs to establish an informal administrative process to address custodial parent (CP)concerns about service delivery and expectations. Local child support agencies must inform the CP and the noncustodial parent (NCP) of the review process at the time of the initial interview. See the Intake/Case Assignment chapter.
Participants can file a request for a review when evidence exists that an error has occurred or that an action should have been taken in the case but has not. The request must be in writing and clearly state the reason(s) for the request as well as the expected outcome(s). To ensure review of the appropriate case, requests should include identifying information, such as the Master Participant Index (MPI) number and/or Social Security number (SSN) of the requestor.
CSS agencies have the following responsibilities:
Upon receipt of the request from a CP for an administrative review, the local supervisor must document the concerns of the participant and the reason why the case is being reviewed.
A participant who is not satisfied with the response from the local supervisor can request that the complaint be elevated to the next level (Regional Program Representative). When the review process is completed, the results should be documented thoroughly.
In accordance with federal policy, a custodial parent (CP) in a CSS case can elect to contract with a private collection agency and use CSS services simultaneously. In this event, all appropriate services must be applied in the customary manner. The private company cannot dictate actions in the case, including the redirection of the CP’s support payments to the private collection agency. In order to collect the fee charged for their services, private agencies often require that payments be routed through the company. If the local CSS agency receives such a request, the CP must be informed that the agency will not redirect the support. It becomes the CP’s responsibility to arrange a suitable plan with the private agency for payment of fees for their services.
The private company is not named as the CP in a case. Once CSS receives documentation that the CP has contracted with a private agency, only information that is appropriate to provide to the CP can also be given to the agency upon request. However, written permission to release the appropriate information to the private agency must be obtained from the CP before doing so.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.