06/17/04 Revised 04/13/18 Training Completed 04/27/18
45 CFR 302.33
When the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) or the Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS) removes a child from the home, the Juvenile Courts or the state can place the child in a kinship placement (with a relative, foster care relative, or guardian relative), with a non-kin guardian, or with a state agency. These placements result in a referral to the Office of Recovery Services/ Children in Care (ORS/CIC). There may be an existing open case for the same child with the Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) or a new CSS case may be opened if a relative begins to receive IV-A assistance for that child. CIC and CSS workers must coordinate casework activities to ensure that order establishment and/or collection of current support is occurring on the appropriate case, that the current support amount is based on the correct order when there is an existing order (or orders), and that the Federal requirements for continuing services cases are met.
CSS or CIC Responsible for Current Case, Establishment or Enforcement
When there are multiple cases for the same child with CIC and CSS, the decision about which program area will be responsible for the actions needed (establishment or enforcement) on the case is based on which programs are providing the funding for the child. For example, CIC cases cannot distribute IV-A collections; therefore, when a child is receiving IV-A cash assistance, CSS is responsible for working the case so that the money can reimburse the IV-A costs. Consider the following criteria in deciding if CIC or CSS is responsible for the current child support case:
1. CIC is responsible for the current child support case, whether it needs establishment, modification, or enforcement action, in the following circumstances:
a. the child is in state custody, or
b. the child is with a guardian who is receiving a guardianship subsidy.
Example #1: The State of Utah has custody of a child. Juvenile Court places the child with a state agency and authorizes ORS to address child support administratively. CIC will open a case and establish a support order.
Example #2: A child with an existing support order is placed with a guardian relative. The relative is receiving a guardianship subsidy from the state (not IV-A cash assistance). CIC will open a case and either enforce the existing child support order or establish a temporary administrative order according to their criteria.
NOTE: If judicial action is needed on a CIC case, the attorneys with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) who are assigned to CIC cases will handle the case with the CIC workers.
2. CSS is responsible for the current child support case, whether it needs establishment, modification, or enforcement action, when the relative applies for IV-A or Non-IV-A services and is not receiving a guardianship subsidy payment. (DCFS may have removed the child from the home and Juvenile Court may be involved; the critical key is that the relative is not receiving a guardianship subsidy and the child is not open on IV-E Foster Care assistance.)
Example #1: The State of Utah has custody of a child. A Juvenile Court order places the child with a relative, retains jurisdiction and authorizes ORS to address child support administratively. There is no other existing child support order. The relative applies for and receives IV-A services. CSS will open a case and establish an administrative support order.
Example #2: A Juvenile Court order places the child with a specified relative. There is an existing District Court order that sets child support for this child, and the order meets the criteria for support follows the child. The specified relative is not receiving a guardianship subsidy or IV-A cash assistance. The relative applies for Non-IV-A services with CSS. CSS will open the case and enforce the support order.
NOTE: If judicial action is needed on a CSS case, the attorney with the AGO who would normally handle the modification or establishment (based on region, district court and/or alphabet split) will handle the case with the CSS workers. This applies even if Juvenile Court has not terminated its jurisdiction. CSS workers will not refer cases directly to the CIC attorneys.
Paternity and Establishment Issues when Juvenile Court Obtains Jurisdiction
While the overall case responsibility and coordination rules presented above remain true when paternity and establishment are issues, there are additional considerations while Juvenile Court has jurisdiction.
1. Juvenile Court orders a “father” to obtain a support order from ORS, but paternity has not been established. Juvenile Court has the authority to order a support obligation against any person and CIC may proceed with temporary orders based on the authority from Juvenile Court if allowed by their procedures; however, paternity establishment is required for CSS administrative processes.
If CSS is responsible for the required case actions, CSS workers will take the following steps.
a. Follow normal paternity procedures outlined in the Paternity Establishment sections of Volume 2, including genetic testing.
i. Genetic tests confirm paternity of the father named in the Juvenile Court order. Establish an order following normal procedures.
ii. Genetic tests exclude the father named in the Juvenile Court order.
A. Dismiss the administrative action.
B. Refer the case and the genetic test results to the AGO.
C. Do not proceed against other possible consorts until you receive approval from the AGO.
D. The AGO will notify the Juvenile court of the genetic test results and ask for clarification of the court’s intent.
I. Juvenile Court intends the real biological father to be obligated. The court can name another consort to pursue or can allow ORS to follow normal procedures to pursue other possible consorts.
II. Juvenile Court intends the excluded consort to be obligated, despite the genetic test exclusion. The support order must be established judicially.
2. Parents request genetic tests and possible disestablishment of paternity while Juvenile Court has jurisdiction. CSS workers will take the following steps.
a. Follow the normal procedures in the CS 329P Paternity Disestablishment sections to evaluate the case for genetic tests, including considering if the paternity and/or support order is judicial or administrative.
b. Arrange the genetic tests, if appropriate.
c. Monitor for results.
i. Genetic tests do not exclude the father. The support order remains in place. Continue enforcement.
ii. Genetic tests exclude the father.
A. Refer the case and the test results to the AGO.
B. The AGO will notify the Juvenile Court of the genetic test results and that CSS intends to issue an order to disestablish paternity and/or terminate the support obligation.
C. Do not issue the “Decision and Order Based on Genetic Test Results” to disestablish paternity until you receive approval from the AGO. Once this approval is received, follow normal procedures.
D. If the mother should pay support to a specified relative/legal guardian of the child(ren) (which may include the excluded father), follow normal procedures to establish a new support order against her (and any new consort).
3. One program area (CIC or CSS) is in the process of order establishment or paternity testing when the case responsibilities change to the other agency.
a. Paternity testing. While both program areas routinely arrange genetic tests for their customers, if one program area has started the genetic testing process, coordinate efforts to complete testing using the samples already obtained and to get the results to the responsible program area.
b. Order establishment. Because CIC administrative orders are temporary orders, CSS cannot benefit from any CIC order establishment actions that may be in progress other than genetic testing; however, the opposite is not true. If CSS is in the process of establishing an order (parties have been served, etc.), or if the CSS case needs an order for remaining children or that includes arrears timeframes, the CSS worker will verify that ORS has authority from Juvenile Court to set support before proceeding. CSS will establish a support order that includes all of the children of the parties per normal procedures, but will pro-rate the support for the CIC children when enforcing. The CSS agent will notify the CIC agent of the completed order as CIC may be able to use the ongoing support provision of the CSS order once it is complete; however, CSS is not responsible for establishing orders for CIC.
Administrative CIC Orders
CIC may establish an administrative order while the child is in state custody based on a provision in the Juvenile Court order allowing ORS the authority to establish child support. CIC may establish this order even if there is an existing District Court order. CIC administrative orders are temporary orders that are only valid for the time periods the child is in state care. Do not enforce CIC administrative orders on CSS cases. When coordinating order enforcement with CIC teams, refer to the following procedures:
1. No District Court or interstate order exists: If no divorce decree or other District Court order exists that specifies the support obligation(s) (even if CIC has issued an administrative support order), pursue a child support order for the parents through administrative order establishment or other appropriate procedures.
NOTE: If Juvenile Court has continuing jurisdiction over the child(ren) but there is not a juvenile court order with a provision granting ORS authority to address child support, refer the case to the AGO to establish a judicial support order or obtain an order from the Juvenile Court granting ORS authority to proceed.
2. District Court or interstate order exists: If a District Court order or interstate order exists that specifies the support obligation(s), review the existing District Court support order or interstate order and proceed to enforce or modify it as needed (even if CIC has issued an administrative support order). District Court orders are public records and copies of these orders can be provided from one program area to the other as needed.
NOTE: If there is an existing judicial order for the child(ren) in question or for other child(ren) that the parents have in common, CSS workers will not establish a new administrative order based on a juvenile court order provision granting ORS authority to address the child support issue. Proceed with a judicial modification or modification to establish in these cases. Do not attempt to establish a separate administrative order when there is a judicial order for the parents and/or child(ren).
EXAMPLE: The State of Utah had custody of a child, but state custody has ended. CIC established an administrative support order for the child when the child was in state custody. Juvenile Court grants permanent custody to a relative and terminates its jurisdiction. The relative applies for IV-A cash assistance, and CSS opens a case. If there is an existing District Court order, CSS will enforce or modify the District Court order. If there is no District Court order, CSS will establish a new order using the appropriate procedures.
3. Sole custody worksheet, children split between CIC and CSS: Pro-rate the child support between the CIC and CSS cases according to the number of children on each case, with each program area establishing or enforcing its own order.
Procedures for Reinstatement of CSS Services and Continuing Services when State Custody Ends
Federal Regulations found at 45 CFR 302.33(a)(4) govern the requirements for continuing services as follows:
“(4) Whenever a family is no longer eligible for assistance under the State's title IV-A and Medicaid programs, the IV-D agency must notify the family, within five working days of the notification of ineligibility, that IV-D services will be continued unless the family notifies the IV-D agency that it no longer wants services but instead wants to close the case. The notice must inform the family of the benefits and consequences of continuing to receive IV-D services, including the available services and the State's fees, cost recovery and distribution policies. This requirement to notify the family that services will be continued, unless the family notifies the IV-D agency to the contrary, also applies when a child is no longer eligible for IV-E foster care, but only in those cases that the IV-D agency determines that such services and notice would be appropriate.” (Emphasis added.)
When state custody and IV-E Foster Care/Medicaid benefits end, the current obligation on the CIC case stops, although the Juvenile court may not terminate its jurisdiction for several months after the child leaves state custody. Continuing services or reinstating prior services must be provided to the family if there is an existing child support order that can be enforced (such as a divorce decree, as CIC orders are only valid while the child is in state care), and if a “family” can be identified to receive the services and the family wants the services. If there is no enforceable child support order, no continuing enforcement action can take place; therefore, the procedures below do not apply.
When a child leaves state custody, CIC will perform a case review to check for information on the child’s current placement and for any existing CSS cases. CIC and CSS workers will take the following actions, depending on the results of the review:
1. Prior post-order CSS case exists and the child returns to the same CP: If a child who has ever been open on a CSS post-order case, goes into state custody and receives either IV-E Foster Care and/or Medicaid, then returns to the same CP on the prior CSS case, and the CP does not place the child on IV-A assistance:
a. CIC worker will notify the CSS worker listed on the previous CSS case by e-mail that state custody is ending and the CSS case and ongoing support debt needs to be reinstated.
b. CIC worker will send their letter “Reinstatement of Child Support Services After IV-E/Medicaid Closure” with a copy of the “Notice of Services” to the CP.
c. CSS worker will reinstate the CSS case and debts. No new application is required to reinstate services. If the CSS case remained open for other children while a child (or children) was open on the CIC case, CSS will reactivate the child(ren) on the existing CSS case and update the ongoing support debt to include all of the children.
d. If the CP contacts the worker to decline reinstatement of services, the CSS worker will document the request in the case-level narratives and pend the CSS case for closure if there are no state debts remaining.
2. No previous CSS case, state custody ends, and a child returns to one of the parents (CIC obligors): If a child goes into state custody and receives IV-E Foster Care and/or Medicaid and the child returns to one of the parents when the IV-E or Medicaid benefits end, CIC will take the following steps to determine if CSS must open a new Non-IV-A case to provide child support services.
a. Review the existing support orders for the child to decide if there is an existing child support order that could be enforced by CSS.
i. No enforceable order exists (i.e. divorce decree or CSS administrative order): Document the information on the CIC case narratives. No services will be provided unless CSS receives an application for services.
ii. Yes, enforceable order exists: Proceed with the next step.
b. Send their letter “Child Support Services After IV-E/Medicaid Closure” to the parent who now has the child in his/her physical custody. This letter contains the following information:
i. CIC services for the child are ending;
ii. Information about CSS services that are available. Enclose a copy of the “Application for Child Support Services” packet;
iii. A request to return the completed information within 10 days; and,
iv. Notification that all action will terminate if they fail to complete the application packet.
c. Monitor for the response from the parent who now has the child.
i. The parent who now has the child completes the “Parents’ Updated Information” indicating that services are wanted. CIC will forward the completed form and information about the support order (including a copy of the support order if it is available) to the CSS Central Registry Unit. CRU will coordinate efforts to open the new case with the appropriate CSS intake team.
ii. The parent who now has the child contacts the office and indicates that he/she does not want services or the parent does not respond to the contact letter. CIC will document these results in the case narratives and no CSS services will be provided.
3. No previous CSS case for the relative/guardian who now has custody of the child, state custody ends, but child remains with the same “family”: If a child goes into state custody and receives IV-E Foster Care and/or Medicaid with a guardian or specified relative, and the child remains with the same guardian or relative when the IV-E or Medicaid benefits end, CIC will take the following steps to determine if CSS must open a new Non-IV-A case to provide continuing services.
a. Decide if there is an existing child support order that can be enforced by CSS.
i. No enforceable order exists: Document the information on the CIC case narratives. No continuing services will be provided.
ii. Yes, enforceable order exists: Proceed with the next step.
b. Send the Reinstatement of Child Support Services After IV-E/Medicaid Closure to the guardian or relative who now has the child in his/her custody. The guardian/specified relative has 10 days to respond.
c. Monitor for the response from the guardian/ relative.
i. Guardian/relative completes the “Parents’ Updated Information” indicating that continuing services are wanted. CIC will forward the completed form and information about the support order (including a copy of the support order if it is available) to the CSS Central Registry Unit. CRU will coordinate efforts to open the new case with the appropriate CSS intake team.
ii. Guardian/relative contacts office and indicates that he/she does not want continuing services or there is no response to the contact letter. CIC will document these results in the case narratives and no continuing services will be provided.
4. No “family” can be identified: If CIC is unable to identify the “family” who has been receiving services and should therefore receive notice of reinstatement of services or continuing services, (for example, the child moves to an unknown location), CIC will create a narrative explaining the results of the continuing services review and make no referral to CSS case.