Tribal Child Support Enforcement First Steps Checklist National Tribal Child Support Association - PO Box 154 - Ada, OK 74821
It’s All About the Children ! Tribal Child Support Programs assist families in obtaining and maintaining self-sufficiency through: Paternity Establishment Establishment, Modification and Enforcement of Child Support orders; Location of Absent Parents
Introduction Whether your Tribe already has a child support program that you want to enhance or you are planning on establishing a new program, there are several things to consider once your Tribal leaders approve the project.
Federal Mandates Impact on Tribal Infrastructure Self-Assessment
Primary Federal Mandates: Paternity Establishment Establishment of Child Support Orders Modification of Child Support Orders Enforcement of Child Support Orders Location of Absent Parents
14 Secondary Mandates These secondary mandates address the structural requirements your programs will have to follow to qualify for federal funding.
Checklist: Infrastructure How will a new child support program affect our Tribal Infrastructure? Legislative – You will need codes to support the child support program. Judicial – Codes / laws will need to be enforced. Judges must have the authority to issue an order and the judicial system must be able to carry out the order. Executive – Collaboration and Cooperation between Tribal, state and federal offices of child support and between Tribal programs will ensure a successful outcome.
Checklist: Positive Impact on Tribe Enhancement / Improvement of Tribal Courts; Enhances services with other Tribal programs (T.A.N.F., ICW, schools, work programs); Improved services to Tribal Members; Community Education.
Checklist: Self-Assessment What needs to be done first? Who needs to be involved? How many staff hours will this require? How do you determine what you have or what you need in order to proceed? Who can you contact for guidance?
Checklist: Additional Things to Consider In your assessment, you also need to consider the following: Collaboration Automation Cooperative Agreements Action Plan Timelines
First Decide where you will “house” the TCSA –Some Tribes choose to put their child support program within their judicial structure; –Some choose to house it within their social services or family services structure. A Project Leader must be identified along with supporting staff. –Staff hour involvement will vary Tribe to Tribe
Second Identifying what you have and what you need… Review the Federal Regulations, point-by-point to identify what you already have and what you are already doing. Then identify those components you cannot meet and determine what you need to do to meet them.
Collaboration Which of the following options meet my Tribes’ needs the best? Establishing our own, individual program? Forming/Joining a consortia with other Tribes? Entering a Cooperative Agreement with our state?
In choosing an option, consider the following: Will my Tribe have enough cases to justify having our own program? Are there nearby Tribes willing to form a consortia to establish a new child support agency? Are there nearby Tribes currently operating a child support program with which my Tribe could form a consortia with? Is our Tribal/State relationship conducive to collaborating? What kind of child support program does my Tribe want?
Automation At this time, Tribes are not required to have an automated system as long as they have the means to manage cases and track collections and payments. Tribes may be required to automate in the future.
Currently, your options are: Manually manage and track your child support cases. Develop your own automated system. Contract with your state to use their system.
Cooperative Agreements It’s important to have Cooperative Agreements with the other agencies you will be interacting with. Tribal Social Services Tribal Court (Judges, Attorneys, Clerks of Court) Law Enforcement Process Server; State – if applicable;
Third Action Plan After making your initial assessment, you will need to develop an action plan that includes a timeline and designated staff to carry out the tasks.
Last Write and Submit TCSA Plan Once all your structural pieces are in place: –Write your TCSA Plan –Develop your Budget –Package the information –Submit through your Tribal process and obtain required signatures – Submit to OCSE
Timelines Existing Tribal Infrastructure will determine how long your timeline will be; Allow 6 – 12 months for the initial assessment and preparation; Allow another 3 – 6 months for review and approval/denial from OCSE.
Contact Information Jerry Sweet / Chickasaw Nation 580-310-6009 Martha Renville / Sisseton-Wahpeton 605-698-7131 Tami Lorbecke / Chickasaw Nation 918-272-6909 Kate Christnot / OCSE 202-401-4842
It’s for the children…. Every child has a right to know who their father is. Every child has the right to be financially and emotionally supported by both parents.