HHS to boost grants for child-support enforcement

The Health and Human Services Department plans to provide $1 billion worth of additional grants to states over a two-year period to support programs that enforce federal child-support mandates. Many tier-one contractors in the state and local market provide such services to states.

The funds will come from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, HHS officials said March 26. States are to use the funds specifically to support programs and technologies that enforce, collect and distribute child support, the officials said.

The federal government currently provides incentive payments to states based on the strength and performance of their child-support enforcement programs. A new provision in the Recovery Act calls for the $1 billion to be distributed as a match that would increase the existing incentive payments.

The Recovery Act provision is effective Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2010, HHS officials said. States will receive the additional matching funds based on any incentive funds used during fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010, including incentives earned but not spent in previous years. States will continue to receive additional funds as grant awards based on quarterly expenditures.

Information technology contractors provide child-support enforcement services that help obtain financial support, such as establishing paternity, obtaining and executing enforcement orders, and improving collections.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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