The Learning Curve

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Kentucky Child Support Collection Report Card 2011

The Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2011 from the U. S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, published in December, 2013, discloses several interesting details about the current status of child support collection activity in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In Kentucky, the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services is the designated State Disbursing Unit (SDU) under laws and regulations established by the federal government and it reports to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Each of the several states and territories have similarly functioning administrative systems in place to establish paternity, to set child support obligations, to track the employment of non-custodial parents with support obligations and to collect support payments.

This child support enforcement system has evolved over several decades to become what it is today. See: Child Support – Garnishment or Payroll Deduction? Although the original impetus for an interstate cooperative child support system came from the need to collect child support for custodial parents, primarily single mothers, who were receiving public assistance for minor children (TANF or KYTAP), the scope of the system has grown far beyond that limited beginning. In FY 2011, for example, Kentucky’s child support enforcement efforts collected a total of nearly $392 million in support payments, but only $21.4 million was collected for children currently receiving public assistance. $154.4 million was collected for cases that had previously received welfare assistance and $138 million was collected for children who has never received public assistance for dependent children. This is not to say that many of these families are not currently receiving other forms of public assistance, such as food stamps (SNAP).

Of all the child support collected by Kentucky during FY 2011, nearly 65%, or $253 million, was collected by means of wage withholding orders. Kentucky employers are important players in this system of child support enforcement.

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Written by Tom Fox

03/09/2014 at 1:09 pm

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