Child Support Enforcement Research

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To discover, test, demonstrate, and promote utilization of new concepts which will increase cost effectiveness, reduce welfare dependency, and increase child support collections from absent parents.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Grants and contracts are awarded for innovative research and demonstrations of regional and national significance that are responsive to program priorities in Child Support Enforcement, and for coordination, administration and provision of services to target populations. All applications must meet standards of excellence in research and evaluation design. Funds authorized under Section 1110 of the Social Security Act are limited to State agencies administering the Child Support Enforcement Program, and to other public and private nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Funds authorized under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act are limited to State agencies administering the Child Support Enforcement Program or their umbrella agencies. All applications must outline explicitly the information sought about the administration, or effects of the proposed research and how the activity will be evaluated. Funds may not be used for construction. A Section 1115 waiver of any of the State Plan requirements under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act may be granted in connection with any experimental pilot or demonstration project that will assist in promoting the objectives of the Child Support Enforcement program and meets certain conditions.

Who is eligible to apply...

Section 1110 grants may be made to State and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Contracts may be executed with nonprofit or for-profit organizations. Section 1115 grants may be made only to State Child Support Enforcement agencies or their umbrella agencies.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

When appropriate, applicants should present written evidence of other agencies' willingness to cooperate when the project involves their cooperation or the utilization of their facilities or service. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments and federally-recognized tribal governments. For other grantees, costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions, OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations, and any amendments to the aforementioned.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circulars No. A-102 and No. A-110, as appropriate. The standard application forms, as furnished by DHHS and required by OMB Circular No. A-102, must be used for this program. Application kits which contain the prescribed application forms and supplemental descriptive information on the priority projects are available from: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Director, Division of Discretionary Grants, 4th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-4621. Contact: Daphne Weeden, Director, Division of Discretionary Grants. To be considered for a grant award, all applications must be submitted on the prescribed application forms and submitted to the Division of Grants Management. The application shall be executed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency or organization and to assume for the agency or organization the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant. As part of the project title (page 1 of the application form, Form SF-424) the applicant must clearly indicate whether the application submitted is in response to a priority project identified in a program announcement and must reference the unique project identifier (e.g., OCSE-84) for which the application is to compete. Applications are initially screened for relevance to program interests of the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Ineligible applications will be returned to the applicant. Eligible applications are reviewed and evaluated by a review panel of not less than three knowledgeable people. Applicants may also submit proposals for projects not specifically identified in a program announcement, but which are relevant to the OCSE program goals. These applications will be designated as nonpriority, but will also be subject to the panel review process. A limited number of projects may be approved pending available funds and will compete with other nonpriority projects. Written assessment of each application is made. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Official notice of approved grant applications is made through issuance of a Notice of Grant Award. This provides the amount of funds awarded, the purpose of the award, the term and conditions of the award, the budget period for which support is given, the total project period for which support is contemplated, and the total grantee participation.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Closing dates are established and published as program announcements in letters to State IV-D directors. Unsolicited applications may be submitted at any time.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 120 days. Generally, solicited grants will be acted upon within 90 days.

Preapplication Coordination

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


There are no formal appeals procedures. If an application grant is disapproved,applicants may request the reasons for disapproval. In the case of unsolicited proposals, applicants are free to resubmit applications with attention to the changes suggested by the reasons for disapproval.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Extensions and continuations of grants with 1-year project periods are generally not available except under extreme circumstances. If an application is recommended for approval for 2 or more years, the grantee must submit a formal request for continuation each year accompanied by a progress report which will be evaluated prior to a recommendation of continuation. This is not applicable to contracts.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

State agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$43,000 to $125,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $1,800,000; FY 04 est $1,800,000; and FY 05 est $1,800,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

(Title IV-D) 75-1501-0-1-609.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

In fiscal year 2003, projects were funded in the following areas: data mining and analysis, improved partnerships between child support enforcement and work programs, innovate health coverage, and reducing arrearages of low income non-custodial parents through improved front-end management.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Twelve new grants were awarded and 4 grants were continued for a third year of funding in fiscal year 2003. It is estimated that 15 new grants will be awarded and 4 will continue for a second year of funding in fiscal year 2004. It is estimated that 8 new grants will be awarded, 3 will be funded for a second year, and 4 will be funded for a third year in fiscal year 2005.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

(1) Objectives and need for assistance; (2) approach; (3) competence of staff; (4) independent evaluation; and (5) reasonableness of budget.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Most grants are awarded on a 17-month basis. For multi-year projects, support beyond the first year is contingent upon acceptable evidence of satisfactory progress and availability of funds.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Grantees are required to share in the cost of projects. Grantee costs can be as low as 5 percent without approval by the Secretary for Health and Human Services.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Semi-annual narrative program and expenditure reports are required for all grant projects.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


All fiscal transactions identifiable to Federal financial assistance are subject to audit by the HHS audit agency, and other Federal officials. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Proper accounting records, identifiable by grant or contract number and including all receipts and expenditures, must be maintained for 3 years in accordance with 45 CFR Part 92. Subsequent to audit, they must be maintained until all questions are resolved, or at the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Social Security Act, Section 1110, 42 U.S.C. 1310, Section 1115, 42 U.S.C. 1315, as amended, Public Laws 96-265, 98-378, 100-485, and 100-517.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

The pamphlets "Research Grants in Social Security," "Grants Administration Policies," and application kits may be obtained from the ACF, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 4th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Regional Administrators. (See Additional Contact Information - FMR Help for Regional Offices.)

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

James H. Rich, Program Manager,Office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services, 4th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-3447. FTS is not available.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: