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Improving Our Nation's Child Support Enforcement Program


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This week, the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee held a hearing to examine several bipartisan, no-cost ways to improve the nation's child support enforcement program. No one wants to see a family divided, but above all else, we must do what we can to ensure that our young people are receiving the support they need.

The child support enforcement program was created in 1975 to reduce public expenditures on welfare by helping children obtain support from non-custodial parents. Today, this program, which is administered by states, has grown to serve all families that request services and handles 60-percent of child support cases.

At this week's hearing, we discussed ways to increase the collections of child support and reduce expenditures on taxpayers. These included ways to step up efforts to collect support from parents who live overseas, and improving certain programs targeted to help children in need of support like TANF, child welfare and unemployment programs. These bipartisan changes improve the efficiency of government programs and the effectiveness to get aid to children.

I was most interested in ways to protect the personal information of these families and children who are seeking support. I asked the Gordon Berlin, PhD, President, MDRC, and Kay Farley, Executive Director, National Center for State Courts what they do to prevent identity theft and they assured the Subcommittee that the information is encrypted, stripped of personalized, and destroyed after use.

Republicans and Democrats agree we can make some common sense, no-cost changes to the our child support enforcement program to ensure children are receiving the support they deserve, and our government programs are run in the most efficient manner possible. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move these proposals through Congress.

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