42 USC 653(a)(3), 663; 45 CFR 302.33(c), 302.35, 303.15 and 303.69; R527-005
Introduction and Statutory Authority
The Social Security Act governs the use of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) pursuant to:
42 U.S.C. 653. Federal Parent Locator Service (a)(3) states, “For the purpose of enforcing any Federal or State law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child, or making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination, as defined in section 663 (d)(1) of this title, the Federal Parent Locator Service shall be used to obtain and transmit the information specified in section 663 (c) of this title to the authorized persons specified in section 663 (d)(2) of this title.”
According to 42 USC 663(a), the services of the FPLS are available in parental kidnapping cases (unlawful taking or restraint of a child), or for the purpose of determining the whereabouts of a parent when the information is to be used to locate the parent to make or enforce a custody or visitation (parent-time) determination.
“42 U.S.C. 663(a) Agreements with States for use of Federal Parent Locator Service.
The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with every State under which the services of the Federal Parent Locator Service established under section 653 of this title shall be made available to each State for the purpose of determining the whereabouts of any parent or child when such information is to be used to locate such parent or child for the purpose of—
(1) enforcing any State or Federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child; or
(2) making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination.” (Emphasis added)
Only authorized persons may request this information from the office pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 666(b), which states,
“Requests from authorized persons for information
An agreement entered into under subsection (a) of this section shall provide that the State agency described in section 654 of this title will, under procedures prescribed by the Secretary in regulations, receive and transmit to the Secretary requests from authorized persons for information as to (or useful in determining) the whereabouts of any parent or child when such information is to be used to locate such parent or child for the purpose of—
(1) enforcing any State or Federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child; or
(2) making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination.
NOTE: This policy provides information on a federal program allowing the use of FPLS information in specific circumstances. These procedures and criteria are separate from the state procedures governed by UCA 62A-11-304.4 discussed in CS 076 Release of Case Information Based on Parent-time Order. CS 076 involves releasing current CSS location information to a parent or attorney who is enforcing a parent-time order. This policy involves requesting FPLS information to be given to an authorized person only (not to a parent or an attorney).
1. Authorized person: As defined by 42 U.S.C. 663 (d)(2) and 45 CFR 303.15(a)(1) – “. . . (A) any agent or attorney of any State having an agreement under this section, who has the duty or authority under the law of such State to enforce a child custody or visitation determination;
(C) any agent or attorney of the
NOTE: Federal law does not permit a parent or his/her private attorney to directly make a request to either the State IV-D agency or to the FPLS. Only an “authorized person,” as defined in Federal law, may make the request. For more information on who may request this type of locate, refer to Appendix E Federal Parent Locator Service.
2. Custody or Visitation Determination – as defined by 42 U.S.C. 663 (d)(1) and 45 CFR 303.15(a)(2) - “. . . a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the custody or visitation of a child, and includes permanent and temporary orders, and initial orders and modification.”
Authorized Use and Disclosure
The FPLS is the sole locate resource available for individuals to use in parental kidnapping, child custody or visitation (parent-time) determination cases. 42 USC 663(c) limits the information that the FPLS may disclose: “. . . Only information as to the most recent address and place of employment of any parent or child shall be provided under this section.” (Emphasis added.)
The office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) must ensure that the individual requesting this type of information meets the definition of “authorized person,” as defined by 42 CFR 663 (d)(2) and 45 CFR 303.15(a)(1). CSS can only disclose information received from FPLS to an “authorized person” that has requested the information. The FPLS cannot be used for any other purpose.
Pursuant to 45 CFR 303.15(c)(8), CSS workers must keep these cases in secure file cabinets and must destroy any confidential records and information related to the request once the information is sent to the requestor.
“The State shall adopt policies and procedures to ensure that information shall be used and disclosed solely for the purposes specified in paragraph (b) of this section. Under this requirement, the State shall:
(i) Restrict access to the information to authorized persons whose duties or responsibilities require access in connection with child custody and parental kidnapping cases;
(ii) Store the information during nonduty hours, or when not in use, in a locked container within a secure area that is safe from access by unauthorized persons;
(iii) Process the information under the immediate supervision and control of authorized personnel, in a manner which will protect the confidentiality of the information, and in such a way that unauthorized persons cannot retrieve the information by computer, remote terminal, or other means;
(iv) Brief all employees who will have access to the data on security procedures and instructions;
(v) Send the information directly to the requestor and make no other
use of the information;
(vi) After the information is sent to the requestor, destroy any confidential records and information related to the request.
(d)(1) An agreement under section 463 of the Act must be signed by the Governor of the State or the Governor's designee.”
The “authorized individual” requesting this information:
1. can only use it to carry out the authorized purpose according to the law; and,
2. cannot disclose this information to any other individual that does not meet the definition of “authorized person” in accordance with the law.
Procedures – Locate-Only Requests
If you are contacted by a parent (or private attorney) who wants CSS to provide locate information on the other parent and child for parental kidnapping or for purposes of establishing or enforcing a child custody or visitation (parent-time) order:
1. Provide the parent with the “Federal Parent Locator Service for Custody and Visitation Purposes”. The form provides the parent with the following information:
a. What the FPLS is:
i. A computerized, national location network operated by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement(OCSE);
ii. A service provided by the FPLS to determine the wherabout of a parent and child in order to make or enforce a custody or visitation determination;
NOTE: Custody or visitation determination is defined as a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the custody or visitation of a child. This includes permanent and temporary orders, and initial orders and modifications.
b. Who is authorized to request information from the FPLS:
i. Any agent or attorney of a State who has the duty or authority under the law of the State to enforce a child custody or visitation determination;
ii. Any court having jurisdiction to make or enforce a child custody or visitation determination, or any agent of such court; and,
Any agent or attorney of the
NOTE: The NCP may not submit a request directly or through private counsel.
c. How the NCP makes a request for FPLS services:
i. petition a court with proper jurisdiction to submit a request to ORS/CSS to access the FPLS on the parent’s behalf;
ii. a copy of the court petition must be served upon the Office of Attorney General, Child and Family Support Division;
the court must send the request:
Liesa Stockdale, IV-D Director
P.O. Box 45011
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0011
Re: FPLS Request
NOTE: the request must identify both parents’ names and social security numbers, if known, and the child(ren)’s name(s).
d. What type information the NCP can receive from the FPLS: the only information that may be released is the most recent address and place of employment, for the individual whose location is sought.
i. If ORS/CSS receives this information from the FPLS, it is sent only to the authorized requestor.
ii. The requestor is responsible to disclose that information only to others who meet the “authorized person” definition.
NOTE: If the FPLS information is safeguarded because of a Family Violence Indicator (FVI), no information is sent to CSS.
An “authorized person” may still be able to get information that has been safeguarded, if s/he petitions the appropriate court and requests assistance. If the court grants the petition, they will forward a request for disclosure of safeguarded information to CSS. CSS sends the request to OCSE for determination. If OCSE determines the request is “regular on its face” and for an authorized purpose in response to a specific request, they will allow a one-time release of the information and send the information to the court. The court must review the specific information received and determine if further disclosure may be harmful to the parent and/or child.
e. Who to contact for questions: The number for each office is provided for questions and access to the FPLA for custody and determination purposes.
2. [L1]The IV-D Director will review the request and if appropriate, refer the request to the Manager of the SPLS team. The SPLS team will complete the following:
a. open the case within 10 days of receipt of the request. The case must only include the information needed for an FPLS referral.
b. make a referral to the FPLS for locate information within 75 calendar days of opening the case.
c. store the files in locked cabinets, if necessary. If any paper is maintained on the case, it must be secured and have restricted access to protect confidentiality.
d. monitor the case for the returned FPLS information and send it to the “authorized person” only. The SPLS unit will:
i. ONLY send the address and place of employment information; and,
make no other use of the
information. The FPLS information
received is not added to ORSIS or the case narratives.
close the case with the “FND” (locate-only services complete) closure code after information is received from the FPLS or if no information is received from the FPLS.