Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 17. SUPPORT SERVICES [17000 - 17804]

  ( Division 17 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 1. Department of Child Support Services [17000 - 17393]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 3. Director of Child Support Services [17300 - 17325]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

17300.
  

(a) With the consent of the Senate, the Governor shall appoint, to serve at the Governor’s pleasure, an executive officer who shall be director of the department. In making the appointment the Governor shall consider training, demonstrated ability, experience, and leadership in organized child support enforcement administration. The director shall receive the salary provided for by Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(b) The Governor also may appoint, to serve at the Governor’s pleasure, not to exceed two chief deputy directors of the department, and one deputy director of the department. The salaries of the chief deputy directors and the deputy director shall be fixed in accordance with law.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 142. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

17302.
  

The director shall do all of the following:

(a) Be responsible for the management of the department.

(b) Administer all federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to the administration of child support enforcement obligations.

(c) Perform all duties as may be prescribed by law, and any other administrative and executive duties imposed by law.

(d) Observe, and report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the public on, the conditions of child support enforcement activities throughout the state pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 17602.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 480, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17303.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, contained in Part D (commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter 4 of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code, requires that there be a single state agency for child support enforcement. California’s child support enforcement system is extremely complex, involving numerous state and local agencies. The state’s system was divided between the State Department of Social Services, the Attorney General’s office, the Franchise Tax Board, the Employment Development Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the 58 county district attorneys’ offices.

(b) The lack of coordination and integration between state and local child support agencies has been a major impediment to getting support to the children of this state. An effective child support enforcement program must have strong leadership and effective state oversight and management to best serve the needs of the children of the state.

(c) The state would benefit by centralizing its obligation to hold counties responsible for collecting support. Oversight would be best accomplished by direct management by the state.

(d) A single state agency for child support enforcement with strong leadership and direct accountability for local child support agencies will benefit the taxpayers of the state by reducing the inefficiencies introduced by involving multiple layers of government in child support enforcement operations.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17304.
  

To address the concerns stated by the Legislature in Section 17303, each county shall establish a new county department of child support services. Each department is also referred to in this division as the local child support agency. The local child support agency shall be separate and independent from any other county department and shall be responsible for promptly and effectively establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support obligations, including medical support, enforcing spousal support orders established by a court of competent jurisdiction, and determining paternity in the case of a child born out of wedlock. The local child support agency shall refer all cases requiring criminal enforcement services to the district attorney and the district attorney shall prosecute those cases, as appropriate. If a district attorney fails to comply with this section, the director shall notify the Attorney General and the Attorney General shall take appropriate action to secure compliance. The director shall be responsible for implementing and administering all aspects of the state plan that direct the functions to be performed by the local child support agencies relating to their Title IV-D operations. In developing the new system, all of the following shall apply:

(a) The director shall negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements with county and state agencies to carry out the requirements of the state plan and provide services relating to the establishment of paternity or the establishment, modification, or enforcement of child support obligations as required pursuant to Section 654 of Title 42 of the United States Code. The cooperative agreements shall require that the local child support agencies are reasonably accessible to the citizens of each county and are visible and accountable to the public for their activities. The director, in consultation with the impacted counties, may consolidate the local child support agencies, or any function of the agencies, in more than one county into a single local child support agency, if the director determines that the consolidation will increase the efficiency of the state Title IV-D program and each county has at least one local child support office accessible to the public.

(b) The director shall have direct oversight and supervision of the Title IV-D operations of the local child support agency, and no other local or state agency shall have any authority over the local child support agency as to any function relating to its Title IV-D operations. The local child support agency shall be responsible for the performance of child support enforcement activities required by law and regulation in a manner prescribed by the department. The administrator of the local child support agency shall be responsible for reporting to and responding to the director on all aspects of the child support program.

(c) Nothing in this section prohibits the local child support agency, with the prior approval of the director, from entering into cooperative arrangements with other county departments, as necessary to carry out the responsibilities imposed by this section pursuant to plans of cooperation submitted to the department and approved by the director. The local child support agency may not enter into a cooperative agreement or contract with any county department or independently elected official, including the office of the district attorney, to run, supervise, manage, or oversee the Title IV-D functions of the local child support agency. Until September 1, 2004, the local child support agency may enter into a cooperative agreement or contract of restricted scope and duration with a district attorney to utilize individual attorneys as necessary to carry out limited attorney services. Any cooperative agreement or contract for the attorney services shall be subject to approval by the department and contingent upon a written finding by the department that either the relatively small size of the local child support agency program, or other serious programmatic needs, arising as a result of the transition make it most efficient and cost-effective to contract for limited attorney services. The department shall ensure that any cooperative agreement or contract for attorney services provides that all attorneys be supervised by, and report directly to, the local child support agency, and comply with all state and federal child support laws and regulations. The office of the Legislative Analyst shall review and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of that cooperative agreement or contract, and shall report its findings to the Legislature by January 1, 2004. Within 60 days of receipt of a plan of cooperation or contract from the local child support agency, the department shall either approve the plan of cooperation or contract or notify the agency that the plan is denied. If an agency is notified that the plan is denied, the agency shall have the opportunity to resubmit a revised plan of cooperation or contract. If the director fails to respond in writing within 60 days of receipt, the plan shall otherwise be deemed approved. Nothing in this section shall be deemed an approval of program costs relative to the cooperative arrangements entered into by the counties with other county departments.

(d) In order to minimize the disruption of services provided and to capitalize on the expertise of employees, the director shall create a program that builds on existing staff and facilities to the fullest extent possible. All assets of the family support division in the district attorney’s office shall become assets of the local child support agency.

(e) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), all employees and other personnel who serve the office of the district attorney and perform child support collection and enforcement activities shall become the employees and other personnel of the county child support agency at their existing or equivalent classifications, and at their existing salaries and benefits that include, but are not limited to, accrued and unused vacation, sick leave, personal leave, and health and pension plans.

(B) The Title IV-D director is entitled to become an employee of the local child support agency or may be selected as the administrator pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (f).

(2) Permanent employees of the office of the district attorney on the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed qualified, and no other qualifications shall be required for employment or retention in the county child support agency. Probationary employees on the effective date of this chapter shall retain their probationary status and rights, and shall not be deemed to have transferred, so as to require serving a new probationary period.

(3) Employment seniority of an employee of the office of the district attorney on the effective date of this chapter shall be counted toward seniority in the county child support agency and all time spent in the same, equivalent, or higher classification shall be counted toward classification seniority.

(4) An employee organization that has been recognized as the representative or exclusive representative of an established appropriate bargaining unit of employees who perform child support collection and enforcement activities shall continue to be recognized as the representative or exclusive representative of the same employees of the county.

(5) An existing memorandum of understanding or agreement between the county or the office of the district attorney and the employee organization shall remain in effect and be fully binding on the parties involved for the term of the agreement.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the rights of employees or employee organizations to bargain in good faith on matters of wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment, including the negotiation of workplace standards within the scope of bargaining as authorized by state and federal law.

(7) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a public agency shall, in implementing programs affected by the act of addition or amendment of this chapter to this code, perform program functions exclusively through the use of merit civil service employees of the public agency.

(B) Prior to transition from the district attorney to the local child support agency under Section 17305, the district attorney may continue existing contracts and their renewals, as appropriate. After the transition under Section 17305, any contracting out of program functions shall be approved by the director consistent with Section 31000 and following of the Government Code, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c) with regard to attorney services. The director shall approve or disapprove a proposal to contract out within 60 days. Failure of the director to respond to a request to contract out within 60 days after receipt of the request shall be deemed approval, unless the director submits an extension to respond, which in no event shall be longer than 30 days.

(f) The administrator of the local child support agency shall be an employee of the county selected by the board of supervisors, or in the case of a city and county, selected by the mayor, pursuant to the qualifications established by the department. The administrator may hire staff, including attorneys, to fulfill the functions required by the agency and in conformity with any staffing requirements adopted by the department, including all those set forth in Section 17306. All staff shall be employees of the county and shall comply with all local, state, and federal child support laws, regulations, and directives.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 755, Sec. 11. Effective October 12, 2001.)

17305.
  

(a) In order to achieve an orderly and timely transition to the new system with minimal disruption of services, the director shall begin the transition from the office of the district attorney to the local child support agencies pursuant to Section 17304, commencing January 1, 2001. The director shall transfer the appropriate number of counties, equaling at least 50 percent of the statewide caseload into the new system by January 1, 2002. The transition shall be completed by January 1, 2003. A county that has appointed an administrator for the local child support agency and has complied with the requirements of subdivision (b) may transition prior to January 1, 2001, subject to the approval of the director. In determining the order in which counties will be transferred from the office of the district attorney to the local child support agencies, the director shall do all of the following:

(1) Consider the performance of the counties in establishing and collecting child support.

(2) Minimize the disruption of the services provided by the counties.

(3) Optimize the chances of a successful transition.

(b) In order to achieve an orderly transition with minimal disruption of services, a county shall submit a plan of transition which shall be approved by the department prior to transition.

(c) The director shall consult with the district attorney to achieve an orderly transition and to minimize the disruption of services. Each district attorney shall cooperate in the transition as requested by the director.

(d) To minimize any disruption of services provided under the child support enforcement program during the transition, each district attorney shall:

(1) Continue to be designated the single organizational unit whose duty it shall be to administer the Title IV-D state plan for securing child and spousal support, medical support, and determining paternity for that county until such time as the county is notified by the director that the county has been transferred pursuant to subdivision (a) or sooner under Section 17602.

(2) At a minimum, maintain all levels of funding, staffing, and services as of January 1, 1999, to administer the Title IV-D state plan for securing child and spousal support, medical support, and determining paternity. If the director determines that a district attorney has lowered the funding, staffing, or services of the child support enforcement program, the director may withhold part or all state and federal funds, including incentive funds, from the district attorney. Before the director withholds part of or all state and federal funds, including incentive funds, the district attorney shall have the opportunity to demonstrate good cause for any reductions in funding, staffing, or services. Good cause exceptions for reductions shall include, but not be limited to, natural staff attrition and caseload changes.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 480, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17306.
  

(a) The Department of Child Support Services shall develop uniform forms, policies, and procedures to be employed statewide by all local child support agencies. Pursuant to this subdivision, the department shall:

(1) Adopt uniform procedures and forms.

(2) Establish standard caseload-to-staffing ratios, adjusted as appropriate to meet the varying needs of local programs.

(3) Institute a consistent statewide policy on the appropriateness of closing cases to ensure that, without relying solely on federal minimum requirements, all cases are fully and pragmatically pursued for collections prior to closing.

(4) Evaluate the best practices for the establishment, enforcement, and collection of child support, for the purpose of determining which practices should be implemented statewide in an effort to improve performance by local child support agencies. In evaluating the best practices, the director shall review existing practices in better performing counties within California, as well as practices implemented by other state Title IV-D programs nationwide.

(5) Evaluate the best practices for the management of effective child support enforcement operations for the purpose of determining what management structure should be implemented statewide in an effort to improve the establishment, enforcement, and collection of child support by local child support agencies, including an examination of the need for attorneys in management level positions. In evaluating the best practices, the director shall review existing practices in better performing counties within California, as well as practices implemented by other state Title IV-D programs nationwide.

(6) Set priorities for the use of specific enforcement mechanisms for use by local child support agencies. As part of establishing these priorities, the director shall set forth caseload processing priorities to target enforcement efforts and services in a way that will maximize collections.

(7) Develop uniform training protocols, require periodic training of all child support staff, and conduct training sessions as appropriate.

(8) Review and approve annual budgets submitted by the local child support agencies to ensure each local child support agency operates an effective and efficient program that complies with all federal and state laws, regulations, and directives, including the directive to hire sufficient staff.

(b) The director shall submit any forms intended for use in court proceedings to the Judicial Council for approval at least six months prior to the implementation of the use of the forms.

(c) In adopting the forms, policies, and procedures, the director shall consult with appropriate organizations representing stakeholders in California, such as the California State Association of Counties, the Child Support Directors Association of California, labor organizations, parent advocates, child support commissioners, family law facilitators, and the appropriate committees of the Legislature.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 27, Sec. 5. (SB 80) Effective June 27, 2019.)

17306.1.
  

(a) Commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year, the department shall implement a revised local child support agency funding methodology that was developed in consultation with the California Child Support Directors Association. The methodology shall consist of both of the following components in the 2019–20 fiscal year:

(1) Casework operations, which consists of a statewide standard case-to-staff ratio, the respective labor costs for each local child support agency, and an operating expense and equipment complement based on a percentage of staffing costs. The department shall propose a specific ratio informed by the working sessions described in subdivision (c) and as part of the required update to the Legislature required by subdivision (d).

(2) Call center operations, which consists of a standard statewide ratio of calls-to-call center agents, the respective labor costs for each local child support agency, and an operating expense and equipment complement based on a percentage of staffing costs.

(b) Any increased state costs that result, either directly or indirectly, from implementation of the funding methodology described in subdivision (a) shall be implemented to the extent of an appropriation of funds in the annual Budget Act.

(c) (1) The Department of Child Support Services shall convene a series of stakeholder working sessions to develop the ongoing methodology, which shall take effect in the 2020–21 fiscal year. There shall be at least three working sessions during the Summer and Fall of 2019, beginning as early as possible after July 1, 2019.

(2) The working sessions shall include, but not be limited to, representatives from the Child Support Directors Association, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Department of Finance, consultants from the Assembly and Senate Health and Human Services budget subcommittees, any other interested Legislative consultants, antipoverty advocates, advocacy organizations representing custodial and non-custodial parents, including father’s rights advocates, impacted families, and any other interested advocates or stakeholders for the child support program.

(3) The working sessions shall do all of the following:

(A) Further refine or change the local child support agency funding methodology defined in subdivision (a), including accounting for performance incentives to be provided in future years.

(B) Discuss additional strategies that might improve the customer service, pragmatic collectability, and cost efficiency of the child support program and assess fiscal impact to operations and collections.

(C) Consider any policy changes that may affect the workload and associated funding needs of the local child support agencies and assess fiscal impact to operations and collections.

(D) Consider the ways that child support collection improves outcomes for children, impacts the well-being of children in relationship to their parents who are ordered to pay support, particularly their fathers, and impacts the racial wealth gap and further analyze the impact that child support has on parents ordered to pay support who do not have the capacity to pay.

(d) The department shall provide a written update describing recommended changes to the funding methodology described in subdivision (a) to the relevant policy committees and budget subcommittee of the Legislature on February 1, 2020. The written update shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the programmatic and policy changes discussed in the working sessions, the feasibility of implementing the discussed programmatic and policy changes, the impact that the discussed programmatic and policy changes would have on operations, collections, and families served, and additional required statutory changes.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 27, Sec. 6. (SB 80) Effective June 27, 2019.)

17307.
  

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the Department of Child Support Services has the authority and discretion to prevent, correct, or remedy the effects of changes in the timing of the receipt of child support payments resulting solely from the initial implementation of the federally required State Disbursement Unit. This authority shall not be construed to supplant existing statutory appropriation and technology project approval processes, limits, and requirements.

(b) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that this section is declaratory of existing law.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 75, Sec. 6. Effective July 12, 2006.)

17308.
  

The director shall assume responsibility for implementing and managing all aspects of a single statewide automated child support system that will comply with state and federal requirements. The director may delegate responsibility to, or enter into an agreement with, any agency or entity that it deems necessary to satisfy this requirement.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17309.
  

Effective October 1, 1998, the state shall operate a State Disbursement Unit as required by federal law (42 U.S.C. Secs. 654 (27), 654a(g), and 654b).

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 387, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2004.)

17309.5.
  

(a) An employer who is required to withhold and, by electronic fund transfer, pay tax pursuant to Section 19011 of the Revenue and Taxation Code or Section 13021 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, shall make child support payments to the State Disbursement Unit by electronic fund transfer. All child support payments required to be made to the State Disbursement Unit shall be remitted to the State Disbursement Unit by electronic fund transfer pursuant to Division 11 (commencing with Section 11101) of the Commercial Code.

(b) An employer not required to make payment to the State Disbursement Unit pursuant to paragraph (a), may elect to make payment by electronic fund transfer under the following conditions:

(1) The election shall be made in a form, and shall contain information, as prescribed by the Director of the Department of Child Support Services, and shall be subject to approval of the department.

(2) The election may be terminated upon written request to the Department of Child Support Services.

(c) For the purposes of this section:

(1) “Electronic fund transfer” means any transfer of funds, other than a transaction originated by check, draft, or similar paper instrument, that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephonic instrument, or computer or magnetic tape, so as to order, instruct, or authorize a financial institution to debit or credit an account. Electronic fund transfers shall be accomplished by an automated clearinghouse debit, an automated clearinghouse credit, or by Federal Reserve Wire Transfer (Fedwire).

(2) “Automated clearinghouse” means any federal reserve bank, or an organization established in agreement with the National Automated Clearinghouse Association, that operates as a clearinghouse for transmitting or receiving entries between banks or bank accounts and that authorizes an electronic transfer of funds between these banks or bank accounts.

(3) “Automated clearinghouse debit” means a transaction in which the state, through its designated depository bank, originates an automated clearinghouse transaction debiting the person’s bank account and crediting the state’s bank account for the amount of tax. Banking costs incurred for the automated clearinghouse debit transaction shall be paid by the state.

(4) “Automated clearinghouse credit” means an automated clearinghouse transaction in which the person, through their own bank, originates an entry crediting the state’s bank account and debiting the person’s own bank account. Banking costs incurred for the automated clearinghouse credit transaction charged to the state shall be paid by the person originating the credit.

(5) “Fedwire transfer” means a transaction originated by a person and utilizing the national electronic payment system to transfer funds through the federal reserve banks, when that person debits their own bank account and credits the state’s bank account. Electronic fund transfers pursuant to this section may be made by Fedwire only if payment cannot, for good cause, be made according to subdivision (a), and the use of Fedwire is preapproved by the department. Banking costs incurred for the Fedwire transaction charged to the person and to the state shall be paid by the person originating the transaction.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 143. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

17310.
  

(a) The director shall formulate, adopt, amend, or repeal regulations and general policies affecting the purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the department that are consistent with law and necessary for the administration of the state plan for securing child support and enforcing spousal support orders and determining paternity.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all regulations, including, but not limited to, regulations of the State Department of Social Services and the State Department of Health Services, relating to child support enforcement shall remain in effect and shall be fully enforceable by the department. The department may readopt, amend, or repeal the regulations in accordance with Section 17312 as necessary and appropriate.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 480, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17311.
  

(a) The Child Support Payment Trust Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury. The department shall administer the fund.

(b) (1) The state may deposit child support payments received by the State Disbursement Unit, including those amounts that result in overpayment of child support, into the Child Support Payment Trust Fund, for the purpose of processing and providing child support payments. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the fund is continuously appropriated for the purposes of disbursing child support payments from the State Disbursement Unit.

(2) The state share of the interest and other earnings that accrue on the fund shall be available to the department and used to offset the following General Fund costs in this order:

(A) Any transfers made to the Child Support Payment Trust Fund from the General Fund.

(B) The cost of administering the State Disbursement Unit, subject to appropriation by the Legislature.

(C) Other child support program activities, subject to appropriation by the Legislature.

(c) The department may establish and administer a revolving account in the Child Support Payment Trust Fund in an amount not to exceed six hundred million dollars ($600,000,000) to ensure the timely disbursement of child support. This amount may be adjusted by the Director of Finance upon notification of the Legislature as required, to meet payment timeframes required under federal law.

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide transfers from the General Fund to provide startup funds for the Child Support Payment Trust Fund so that, together with the balances transferred pursuant to Section 17311.7, the Child Support Payment Trust Fund will have sufficient cash on hand to make all child support payments within the required timeframes.

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, an ongoing loan shall be made available from the General Fund, from funds not otherwise appropriated, to the Child Support Payment Trust Fund, not to exceed one hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000) to ensure the timely disbursement of child support payments when funds have not been recorded to the Child Support Payment Trust Fund or due to other fund liabilities, including, but not limited to, Internal Revenue Service negative adjustments to tax intercept payments. Whenever an adjustment of this amount is required to meet payment timeframes under federal law, the amount shall be adjusted after approval of the Director of Finance. In conjunction with the Department of Finance and the Controller’s office, the department shall establish repayment procedures to ensure the outstanding loan balance does not exceed the average daily cash needs. The ongoing evaluation of the fund as detailed in these procedures shall occur no less frequently than monthly.

(f) Notwithstanding any other law, the Controller may use the moneys in the Child Support Payment Trust Fund for loans to the General Fund as provided in Sections 16310 and 16381 of the Government Code. However, interest shall be paid on all moneys loaned to the General Fund from the Child Support Payment Trust Fund. Interest payable shall be computed at a rate determined by the Pooled Money Investment Board to be the current earning rate of the fund from which loaned. This subdivision does not authorize any transfer that will interfere with the carrying out of the object for which the Child Support Payment Trust Fund was created.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, 3rd Ex. Sess., Ch. 9, Sec. 4. Effective February 20, 2009.)

17311.5.
  

(a) The department may enter into a trust agreement with a trustee or fiscal intermediary to receive or disburse child support collections. The trust agreement may contain provisions the department deems reasonable and proper for the security of the child support payments. Any trust accounts created by the trust agreements may be held outside the State Treasury.

(b) For the 2012–13 fiscal year only, trust account moneys may be invested in any of the types of securities listed in Section 16430 of the Government Code or alternatives offering comparable security, including, but not limited to, mutual funds and money market funds. This subdivision does not authorize investments or transfers that would interfere with carrying out the objective for which the Child Support Payment Trust Fund was created.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 47, Sec. 1. (SB 1041) Effective June 27, 2012.)

17311.7.
  

(a) Any payment required to be made to a family through the State Disbursement Unit shall be made directly to the obligee parent in the child support order requiring the payment, the conservator or guardian of the obligee parent, a special needs trust for the benefit of the obligee parent, the guardian of the person and the estate of the child subject to the order, any caregiver relative having custody or responsibility for the child, pursuant to a written record, or an alternate caregiver to whom the obligee under the child support order directs, in a written record, that payments be made.

(b) For purposes of this section, “alternate caregiver” means a nonrelative caregiver who is designated in writing by the obligee parent to take care of the child for a limited time.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 504, Sec. 6. (AB 3248) Effective January 1, 2019.)

17312.
  

(a) The department shall adopt regulations, orders, or standards of general application to implement, interpret, or make specific the law enforced by the department. Regulations, orders, and standards shall be adopted, amended, or repealed by the director only in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(b) In adopting regulations, the department shall strive for clarity of language that may be readily understood by those administering public social services or subject to those regulations.

(c) The rules of the department need not specify or include the detail of forms, reports, or records, but shall include the essential authority by which any person, agency, organization, association, or institution subject to the supervision or investigation of the department is required to use, submit, or maintain the forms, reports, or records.

(d) The department’s regulations and other materials shall be made available pursuant to the California Code of Regulations and in the same manner as are materials of the State Department of Social Services under the provisions of Section 205.70 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 480, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17314.
  

(a) Subject to the State Civil Service Act (Part 2 (commencing with Section 18500) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the director shall appoint any assistants and other employees that are necessary for the administration of the affairs of the department and shall prescribe their duties and, subject to the approval of the Department of Finance, fix their salaries.

(b) As the director adopts a plan for a local child support agency to assume responsibility for child support enforcement activities in any county served by a district attorney pursuant to Section 17304, the director shall hire a sufficient number of regional state administrators to oversee the local child support agencies to ensure compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations. The regions shall be divided based on the total caseload of each local child support agency. The responsibilities of the regional state administrators shall include all of the following:

(1) Conducting regular and comprehensive site visits to the local child support agencies assigned to their region and preparing quarterly reports to be submitted to the department. The local child support agencies shall fully cooperate with all reasonable requests made by the regional state administrators, including providing all requested data on the local child support agency’s program.

(2) Notifying a local child support agency of any potential or actual noncompliance with any state or federal law or regulation by the agency and working with the local child support agency to develop an immediate plan to ensure compliance.

(3) Participating in program monitoring teams as set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 17602.

(4) Participating in meetings with all regional state administrators and the director on at least a monthly basis to promote statewide uniformity as to the functions and structure of the local child support agencies. The regional state administrators may recommend proposals for approval and adoption by the director to achieve this goal.

(5) Responding to requests for management or technical assistance regarding program operations by local child support agencies.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17316.
  

No person, while holding the office of director, shall be a trustee, manager, director, or other officer or employee of any agency performing any function supervised by the department or any institution that is subject to examination, inspection, or supervision by the department.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17318.
  

Except as otherwise expressly provided, Part 1 (commencing with Section 11000) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, as it may be added to or amended from time to time, shall apply to the conduct of the department.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17320.
  

The department shall coordinate with the State Department of Social Services to avoid the imposition of any federal penalties that cause a reduction in the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families grant, payable pursuant to Section 603(a)(1) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17325.
  

(a) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, if child support payments are directly deposited to an account of the recipient’s choice, as authorized under the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1693 et seq.), the payments may only be deposited to an account that meets the requirements of a qualifying account, as defined in paragraph (2), for deposit of child support payments.

(2) For purposes of this section, a “qualifying account” is one of the following:

(A) A demand deposit or savings account at an insured financial institution in the name of the person entitled to the receipt of child support payments.

(B) A prepaid card account that meets all of the following:

(i) The account is held at an insured financial institution.

(ii) The account is set up to meet the requirements for passthrough deposit or share insurance so that the funds accessible through the account are eligible for insurance for the benefit of the person entitled to the receipt of child support payments by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in accordance with Part 330 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund in accordance with Part 745 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(iii) The account is not attached to any credit or overdraft feature that is automatically repaid from the account after delivery of the payment.

(iv) The issuer of the card complies with all of the requirements, and provides the holder of the card with all of the consumer protections, that apply to a payroll card account under the rules implementing the EFTA or other rules subsequently adopted under the EFTA that apply to prepaid card accounts.

(3) A person or entity that issues a prepaid card or maintains or manages a prepaid card account that does not comply with paragraph (2) shall not accept or facilitate the direct deposit of child support payments to the prepaid card account.

(b) For purposes of this section, the department shall not be held liable for authorizing a direct deposit of child support payments into a prepaid card account designated by the recipient that does not comply with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). The department has no obligation to determine whether an account at the financial institution of the recipient’s choice is a qualifying account as described in subdivision (a).

(c) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Financial institution” means a state or national bank, a state or federal savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank, or a state or federal credit union.

(2) “Issuer” means a person or entity that issues a prepaid card.

(3) “Payroll card account” shall have the same meaning as that term is defined in the regulations implementing the EFTA.

(4) “Prepaid card” or “prepaid card account” means either of the following:

(A) A card, code, or other means of access to funds of a recipient that is usable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants for goods or services, or usable at automated teller machines.

(B) The same as those terms or related terms are defined in the regulations adopted under the EFTA regarding general use reloadable cards.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 416, Sec. 2. (AB 1519) Effective January 1, 2016.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM3