There are multiple child support services and organizations located across the United States. They can be found in every single state at various agencies. The Office of Child Support Enforcement works closely with each of those tribal, state, and federal agencies in order to make sure that as many children as possible receive the support that they need and deserve.
Types of Child Support Services Agencies
There are several types, or levels, of child support services agencies in the country. At the top level is the federally run Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), which is actually a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The OCSE website, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css is a great resource for parents and other concerned parties who want to learn more about how child support is calculated and enforced in the United States.
The next level is state child support agencies. Each state has its own agencies with its own variations on child support laws and calculations. The state child support services offered by those agencies tend to be similar in every state, but there are subtle differences. There are even differences in the names of the organizations that govern child support in each state.
Next are the local child support services branch offices. They follow all of the state’s rules and offer all of the services. They are conveniently located in various places in each state. The main office in each state typically controls them and fields any questions or issues that can not be handled in a branch office.
Finally, there are the tribal child support services that are offered for Native American families across the United States. Tribal child support agencies offer many of the same services as other child support agencies, but they operate under tribal laws and traditions. There are currently tribal child support services agencies representing more than 50 Native American tribes.
Specific Child Support Services Offered
It is up to the courts to determine what child support payments need to be made, if any. However, child support services offered by the various agencies across the country may include:
- Locating Missing Parents
- Working with Other State Agencies to Get Parents to Pay Court Ordered Child Support
- Orchestrating Paternity Tests
- Helping Out of Work Parents to Obtain Work
- Assisting in Situations Where Child Support is Needed, But the Non-Custodial Parent May be Violent
In fact, many child support services in the various states are part of other family-oriented programs. So, you may be able to ask your child support caseworker about other available assistance tools, if you need more help than just child support. For more information, visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/state-and-tribal-child-support-agency-contacts to find your state’s child support services and get started.