Child Support Enforcement Research

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.


Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

In fiscal year 2006, 6 projects were funded in the following areas: timely review and adjustment processes; mediation; and collaboration protocols between child support and child welfare.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - Regional Administrators.

(See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Regional Offices).

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Six new grants were awarded and 12 grants were continued in fiscal year 2007. It is estimated that 8 new grants will be awarded and 6 will continue for a second year of funding in fiscal year 2008. It is estimated that 8 new grants will be awarded and 6 will be funded for a second year and 6 will be funded for a third year in fiscal year 2009.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants 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 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.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Section 1115 grants may be made only to State Child Support Enforcement agencies or their umbrella agencies.

Beneficiary Eligibility

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


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.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

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, 6th Floor East, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-4577. 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. 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.

Award Procedures

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.


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


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.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

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


There are no formal appeals procedures. If an application for a 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.


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.

Assistance Considerations

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.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are typically three years in length. For multi-year projects, support beyond the first year is contingent upon acceptable evidence of satisfactory progress and availability of funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


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


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.


Proper accounting records, identifiable by grant number act 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.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $1,800,000; FY 08 est $1,800,000; and FY 09 est $1,800,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

FY 2007 $60,000 to $150,000.

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.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Regional Administrators. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Regional Offices).

Headquarters Office

Karen H. Anthony, 1115 Grants Manager,Office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services, 4th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 690-6275. FTS is not available.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

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

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