Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 17. SUPPORT SERVICES [17000 - 17804]

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

CHAPTER 2. Child Support Enforcement [17400 - 17714]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 3. Program Compliance [17600 - 17604]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 478, Sec. 1. )

17600.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) The Legislative Analyst has found that county child support enforcement programs provide a net increase in revenues to the state.

(2) The state has a fiscal interest in ensuring that county child support enforcement programs perform efficiently.

(3) The state does not provide information to counties on child support enforcement programs, based on common denominators that would facilitate comparison of program performance.

(4) Providing this information would allow county officials to monitor program performance and to make appropriate modifications to improve program efficiency.

(5) This information is required for effective management of the child support program.

(b) Except as provided in this subdivision commencing with the 1998–99 fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, each county that is participating in the state incentive program described in Section 17704 shall provide to the department, and the department shall compile from this county child support information, monthly and annually, all of the following performance-based data, as established by the federal incentive funding system, provided that the department may revise the data required by this paragraph in order to conform to the final federal incentive system data definitions:

(1) One of the following data relating to paternity establishment, as required by the department, provided that the department shall require all counties to report on the same measurement:

(A) The total number of children in the caseload governed by Part D (commencing with Section 451) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.), as of the end of the federal fiscal year, who were born to unmarried parents for whom paternity was established or acknowledged, and the total number of children in that caseload, as of the end of the preceding federal fiscal year, who were born to unmarried parents.

(B) The total number of minor children who were born in the state to unmarried parents for whom paternity was established or acknowledged during a federal fiscal year, and the total number of children in the state born to unmarried parents during the preceding calendar year.

(2) The number of cases governed by Part D (commencing with Section 451) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.) during the federal fiscal year and the total number of those cases with support orders.

(3) The total dollars collected during the federal fiscal year for current support in cases governed by Part D (commencing with Section 451) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.) and the total number of dollars owing for current support during that federal fiscal year in cases governed by those provisions.

(4) The total number of cases for the federal fiscal year governed by Part D (commencing with Section 451) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.) in which payment was being made toward child support arrearages and the total number of cases for that fiscal year governed by these federal provisions that had child support arrearages.

(5) The total number of dollars collected and expended during a federal fiscal year in cases governed by Part D (commencing with Section 451) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.).

(6) The total amount of child support dollars collected during a federal fiscal year, and, if and when required by federal law, the amount of these collections broken down by collections distributed on behalf of current recipients of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds or federal foster care funds, on behalf of former recipients of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds or federal foster care funds, or on behalf of persons who have never been recipients of these federal funds.

(c) In addition to the information required by subdivision (b), the department shall collect, on a monthly basis, from each county that is participating in the state incentive program described in Section 17704, information on the local child support agency for each federal fiscal year, and shall report semiannually on all of the following performance measurements:

(1) The percentage of cases with collections of current support. This percentage shall be calculated by dividing the number of cases with an order for current support by the number of those cases with collections of current support. The number of cases with support collected shall include only the number of cases actually receiving a collection, not the number of payments received. Cases with a medical support order that do not have an order for current support may not be counted.

(2) The average amount collected per case for all cases with collections.

(3) The percentage of cases that had a support order established during the period. A support order shall be counted as established only when the appropriate court has issued an order for child support, including an order for temporary child support, or an order for medical support.

(4) The total cost of administering the local child support agency, including the federal, state, and county share of the costs, and the federal and state incentives received by each county. The total cost of administering the program shall be broken down by the following:

(A) The direct costs of the program, broken down further by total employee salaries and benefits, a list of the number of employees broken down into at least the following categories: attorneys, administrators, caseworkers, investigators, and clerical support; contractor costs; space charges; and payments to other county agencies. Employee salaries and numbers need only be reported in the annual report.

(B) The indirect costs, showing all overhead charges.

(5) In addition, the local child support agency shall report monthly on measurements developed by the department that provide data on the following:

(A) Locating obligors.

(B) Obtaining and enforcing medical support.

(C) Providing customer service.

(D) Any other measurements that the director determines to be an appropriate determination of a local child support agency’s performance.

(6) A county may apply for an exemption from any or all of the reporting requirements of this subdivision for a fiscal year by submitting an application for the exemption to the department at least three months prior to the commencement of the fiscal year or quarter for which the exemption is sought. A county shall provide a separate justification for each data element under this subdivision for which the county is seeking an exemption and the cost to the county of providing the data. The department may not grant an exemption for more than one year. The department may grant a single exemption only if both of the following conditions are met:

(A) The county cannot compile the data being sought through its existing automated system or systems.

(B) The county cannot compile the data being sought through manual means or through an enhanced automated system or systems without significantly harming the child support collection efforts of the county.

(d) After implementation of the statewide automated system, in addition to the information required by subdivision (b), the Department of Child Support Services shall collect, on a monthly basis, from each county that is participating in the state incentive program described in Section 17704, information on the county child support enforcement program beginning with the 1998–99 fiscal year or a later fiscal year, as appropriate, and for each subsequent fiscal year, and shall report semiannually on all of the following measurements:

(1) For each of the following support collection categories, the number of cases with support collected shall include only the number of cases actually receiving a collection, not the number of payments received.

(A) (i) The number of cases with collections for current support.

(ii) The number of cases with arrears collections only.

(iii) The number of cases with both current support and arrears collections.

(B) For cases with current support only due:

(i) The number of cases in which the full amount of current support owed was collected.

(ii) The number of cases in which some amount of current support, but less than the full amount of support owed, was collected.

(iii) The number of cases in which no amount of support owed was collected.

(C) For cases in which arrears only were owed:

(i) The number of cases in which all arrears owed were collected.

(ii) The number of cases in which some amount of arrears, but less than the full amount of arrears owed, was collected.

(iii) The number of cases in which no amount of arrears owed was collected.

(D) For cases in which both current support and arrears are owed:

(i) The number of cases in which the full amount of current support and arrears owed was collected.

(ii) The number of cases in which some amount of current support and arrears, but less than the full amount of support owed, was collected.

(iii) The number of cases in which no amount of support owed was collected.

(E) The total number of cases in which an amount was due for current support only.

(F) The total number of cases in which an amount was due for both current support and arrears.

(G) The total number of cases in which an amount was due for arrears only.

(H) For cases with current support due, the number of cases without orders for medical support and the number of cases with an order for medical support.

(2) The number of alleged fathers or obligors who were served with a summons and complaint to establish paternity or a support order, and the number of alleged fathers or obligors for whom it is required that paternity or a support order be established. In order to be counted under this paragraph, the alleged father or obligor shall be successfully served with process. An alleged father shall be counted under this paragraph only once if served with process simultaneously for both a paternity and a support order proceeding for the same child or children. For purposes of this paragraph, a support order shall include a medical support order.

(3) The number of new asset seizures or successful initial collections on a wage assignment for purposes of child support collection. For purposes of this paragraph, a collection made on a wage assignment shall be counted only once for each wage assignment issued.

(4) The number of children requiring paternity establishment and the number of children for whom paternity has been established during the period. Paternity may only be established once for each child. A child for whom paternity is not at issue shall not be counted in the number of children for whom paternity has been established. For this purpose, paternity is not at issue if the parents were married and neither parent challenges paternity or a voluntary paternity declaration has been executed by the parents prior to the local child support agency obtaining the case and neither parent challenges paternity.

(5) The number of cases requiring that a support order be established and the number of cases that had a support order established during the period. A support order shall be counted as established only when the appropriate court has issued an order for child support, including an order for temporary child support, or an order for medical support.

(6) The total cost of administering the local child support agency, including the federal, state, and county share of the costs and the federal and state incentives received by each county. The total cost of administering the program shall be broken down by the following:

(A) The direct costs of the program, broken down further by total employee salaries and benefits, a list of the number of employees broken down into at least the following categories: attorneys, administrators, caseworkers, investigators, and clerical support; contractor costs; space charges; and payments to other county agencies. Employee salaries and numbers need only be reported in the annual report.

(B) The indirect costs, showing all overhead charges.

(7) The total child support collections due, broken down by current support, interest on arrears, and principal, and the total child support collections that have been collected, broken down by current support, interest on arrears, and principal.

(8) The actual case status for all cases in the county child support enforcement program. Each case shall be reported in one case status only. If a case falls within more than one status category, it shall be counted in the first status category of the list set forth below in which it qualifies. The following shall be the case status choices:

(A) No support order, location of obligor parent required.

(B) No support order, alleged obligor parent located and paternity required.

(C) No support order, location and paternity not at issue but support order must be established.

(D) Support order established with current support obligation and obligor is in compliance with support obligation.

(E) Support order established with current support obligation, obligor is in arrears, and location of obligor is necessary.

(F) Support order established with current support obligation, obligor is in arrears, and location of obligor’s assets is necessary.

(G) Support order established with current support obligation, obligor is in arrears, and no location of obligor or obligor’s assets is necessary.

(H) Support order established with current support obligation, obligor is in arrears, the obligor is located, but the local child support agency has established satisfactorily that the obligor has no income or assets and no ability to earn.

(I) Support order established with current support obligation and arrears, obligor is paying the current support and is paying some or all of the interest on the arrears, but is paying no principal.

(J) Support order established for arrears only and obligor is current in repayment obligation.

(K) Support order established for arrears only, obligor is not current in arrears repayment schedule, and location of obligor is required.

(L) Support order established for arrears only, obligor is not current in arrears repayment schedule, and location of obligor’s assets is required.

(M) Support order established for arrears only, obligor is not current in arrears repayment schedule, and no location of obligor or obligor’s assets is required.

(N) Support order established for arrears only, obligor is not current in arrears repayment, and the obligor is located, but the local child support agency has established satisfactorily that the obligor has no income or assets and no ability to earn.

(O) Support order established for arrears only and obligor is repaying some or all of the interest, but no principal.

(P) Other, if necessary, to be defined in the regulations promulgated under subdivision (e).

(e) Upon implementation of the statewide automated system, or at the time that the department determines that compliance with this subdivision is possible, whichever is earlier, each county that is participating in the state incentive program described in Section 17704 shall collect and report, and the department shall compile for each participating county, information on the county child support program in each fiscal year, all of the following data, in a manner that facilitates comparison of counties and the entire state, except that the department may eliminate or modify the requirement to report any data mandated to be reported pursuant to this subdivision if the department determines that the local child support agencies are unable to accurately collect and report the information or that collecting and reporting of the data by the local child support agencies will be onerous:

(1) The number of alleged obligors or fathers who receive CalWORKs benefits, CalFresh benefits, and Medi-Cal benefits.

(2) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who are in state prison or county jail.

(3) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who do not have a social security number.

(4) The number of obligors or alleged fathers whose address is unknown.

(5) The number of obligors or alleged fathers whose complete name, consisting of at least a first and last name, is not known by the local child support agency.

(6) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who filed a tax return with the Franchise Tax Board in the last year for which a data match is available.

(7) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have no income reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(8) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between one dollar ($1) and five hundred dollars ($500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(9) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between five hundred one dollars ($501) and one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(10) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between one thousand five hundred one dollars ($1,501) and two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(11) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between two thousand five hundred one dollars ($2,501) and three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(12) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between three thousand five hundred one dollars ($3,501) and four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(13) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between four thousand five hundred one dollars ($4,501) and five thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(14) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between five thousand five hundred one dollars ($5,501) and six thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(15) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between six thousand five hundred one dollars ($6,501) and seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(16) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income between seven thousand five hundred one dollars ($7,501) and nine thousand dollars ($9,000) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(17) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have income exceeding nine thousand dollars ($9,000) reported to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(18) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who have two or more employers reporting earned income to the Employment Development Department during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(19) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who receive unemployment benefits during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(20) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who receive state disability benefits during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(21) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who receive workers’ compensation benefits during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(22) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(23) The number of obligors or alleged fathers who receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled benefits during the third quarter of the fiscal year.

(f) The department, in consultation with the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Judicial Council, the California Family Support Council, and child support advocates, shall develop regulations to ensure that all local child support agencies report the data required by this section uniformly and consistently throughout California.

(g) For each federal fiscal year, the department shall provide the information for all participating counties to each member of a county board of supervisors, county executive officer, local child support agency, and the appropriate policy committees and fiscal committees of the Legislature on or before June 30, of each fiscal year. The department shall provide data semiannually, based on the federal fiscal year, on or before December 31, of each year. The department shall present the information in a manner that facilitates comparison of county performance.

(h) For purposes of this section, “case” means a noncustodial parent, whether mother, father, or putative father, who is, or eventually may be, obligated under law for support of a child or children. For purposes of this definition, a noncustodial parent shall be counted once for each family that has a dependent child they may be obligated to support.

(i) This section shall be operative only for as long as Section 17704 requires participating counties to report data to the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 163. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020. Section conditionally inoperative as prescribed by its own provisions.)

17601.
  

The department shall provide to the Legislature actual performance data on child support collections within 60 days of the end of each quarter. This data shall include all comparative data for managing program performance currently provided to local child support agencies, including national, state, and local performance data, as available. The department shall prominently post the data on its Web site, and shall require all local child support agency Web sites to prominently post a link to the state Web site. The department shall update the Legislature during the annual budget subcommittee hearing process, commencing in 2008, on the state and local progress on child support federal performance measures and collections.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 177, Sec. 1. Effective August 24, 2007.)

17602.
  

(a) The department shall adopt the federal minimum standards as the baseline standard of performance for the local child support agencies and work in consultation with the local child support agencies to develop program performance targets on an annual federal fiscal year basis. The performance measures shall include, at a minimum, the federal performance measures and the state performance measures, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 17600. The program performance targets shall represent ongoing improvement in the performance measures for each local child support agency, as well as the department’s statewide performance level.

(b) In determining the performance measures in subdivision (a), the department shall consider the total amount of uncollected child support arrearages that are realistically collectible. The director shall analyze, in consultation with local child support agencies and child support advocates, the current amount of uncollected child support arrearages statewide and in each county to determine the amount of child support that may realistically be collected. The director shall consider, in conducting the analysis, factors that may influence collections, including demographic factors such as welfare caseload, levels of poverty and unemployment, rates of incarceration of obligors, and age of delinquencies. The director shall use this analysis to establish program priorities as provided in paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 17306.

(c) The department shall use the performance-based data, and the criteria for that data, as set forth in Section 17600 to determine a local child support agency’s performance measures for the quarter.

(d) The director shall adopt a three phase process to be used statewide when a local child support agency is out of compliance with the performance standards adopted pursuant to subdivision (a), or the director determines that the local child support agency is failing in a substantial manner to comply with any provision of the state plan, the provisions of this code, the requirements of federal law, the regulations of the department, or the cooperative agreement. The director shall adopt policies as to the implementation of each phase, including requirements for measurement of progress and improvement, which shall be met as part of the performance improvement plan specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), in order to avoid implementation of the next phase of compliance. The director shall not implement any of these phases until July 1, 2001, or until six months after a local child support agency has completed its transition from the office of the district attorney to the new county department of child support services, whichever is later. The phases shall include the following:

(1) Phase I: Development of a performance improvement plan that is prepared jointly by the local child support agency and the department, subject to the department’s final approval. The plan shall provide performance expectations and goals for achieving compliance with the state plan and other state and federal laws and regulations that must be reviewed and assessed within specific timeframes in order to avoid execution of Phase II.

(2) Phase II: Onsite investigation, evaluation, and oversight of the local child support agency by the department. The director shall appoint program monitoring teams to make site visits, conduct educational and training sessions, and help the local child support agency identify and attack problem areas. The program monitoring teams shall evaluate all aspects of the functions and performance of the local child support agency, including compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Based on these investigations and evaluations, the program monitoring team shall develop a final performance improvement plan and shall oversee implementation of all recommendations made in the plan. The local child support agency shall adhere to all recommendations made by the program monitoring team. The plan shall provide performance expectations and compliance goals that must be reviewed and assessed within specific timeframes in order to avoid execution of Phase III.

(3) Phase III: The director shall assume, either directly or through agreement with another entity, responsibility for the management of the child and spousal support enforcement program in the county until the local child support agency provides reasonable assurances to the director of its intention and ability to comply. During the period of state management responsibility, the director or an authorized representative shall have all of the powers and responsibilities of the local child support agency concerning the administration of the program. The local child support agency shall be responsible for providing any funds necessary for the continued operation of the program. If the local child support agency fails or refuses to provide these funds, including a sufficient amount to reimburse any and all costs incurred by the department in managing the program, the Controller may deduct an amount certified by the director as necessary for the continued operation of the program by the department from any state or federal funds payable to the county for any purpose.

(e) The director shall report in writing to the Legislature semiannually, beginning July 1, 2001, on the status of the state child support enforcement program. The director shall submit data semiannually to the Legislature, the Governor, and the public, on the progress of all local child support agencies in each performance measure, including identification of the local child support agencies that are out of compliance, the performance measures that they have failed to satisfy, and the performance improvement plan that is being taken for each.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 164. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

17604.
  

(a) (1) If at any time the director considers any public agency, that is required by law, by delegation of the department, or by cooperative agreement to perform functions relating to the state plan for securing child and spousal support and determining paternity, to be failing in a substantial manner to comply with any provision of the state plan, the director shall put that agency on written notice to that effect.

(2) The state plan concerning spousal support shall apply only to spousal support included in a child support order.

(3) In this chapter the term spousal support shall include support for a former spouse.

(b) After receiving notice, the public agency shall have 45 days to make a showing to the director of full compliance or set forth a compliance plan that the director finds to be satisfactory.

(c) If the director determines that there is a failure on the part of that public agency to comply with the provisions of the state plan, or to set forth a compliance plan that the director finds to be satisfactory, or if the state certifies to the director that the public agency is not in conformity with applicable merit system standards under Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 19800) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and that sanctions are necessary to secure compliance, the director shall withhold part or all of state and federal funds, including incentive funds, from that public agency until the public agency shall make a showing to the director of full compliance.

(d) After sanctions have been invoked pursuant to subdivision (c), if the director determines that there remains a failure on the part of the public agency to comply with the provisions of the state plan, the director may remove that public agency from performing any part or all of the functions relating to the state plan.

(e) In the event of any other audit or review that results in the reduction or modification of federal funding for the program under Part D (commencing with Section 652) of Subchapter IV of Title 42 of the United States Code, the sanction shall be assessed against those counties specifically cited in the federal findings in the amount cited in those findings.

(f) The department shall establish a process whereby any county assessed a portion of any sanction may appeal the department’s decision.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed as relieving the board of supervisors of the responsibility to provide funds necessary for the continued operation of the state plan as required by law.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 427, Sec. 1. (AB 1062) Effective January 1, 2014.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM3