Health and Human Services
Empowering families to support children
Child Support programs were designed for the “traditional” family structure in which Dad works outside the home while Mom cares for the children. In the event of divorce, Dad would be required to provide financial resources to Mom.
Families are now much more dynamic and often defy traditional definitions. According to Pew Research, 54 percent of U.S. children don’t live in a home with two heterosexual parents in their first marriage. Many Americans are delaying or foregoing marriage. One-third of U.S. kids live with a single parent.
At the same time, Child Support provides critical financial resources to children living in poverty. When collected, Child Support payments provide more support per month than SNAP/Food Stamps, WIC or TANF.
Given today’s dynamics, there’s an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how states approach Child Support—and embrace bold change to deliver better outcome for families.
For child support agencies, legacy mainframe systems have become an operational liability. These systems are difficult to maintain, they’re costly to run and outdated tools block the potential for innovation. Modernizing these mission critical mainframe systems without disrupting operations is challenging. Historically modernization approaches focused on system transfers and custom builds. However, transfer systems rarely achieve > 50% of a State’s requirements and custom builds are high risk, high cost with lengthy delivery timeframes. Today, mainframe modernization through code conversion addresses historic challenges and offers a lower risk, lower cost, accelerated path forward.
Legacy systems have been fundamental to operations for decades. Imagine the ability to harvest legacy business logic and functionality and realize its intrinsic value on a new platform. Code conversion makes this a reality. The converted, modernized legacy capabilities become the core of a new Child Support Enhancement (CSE) system. The new system architecture and advanced technology platform positions innovation for the future.
Accenture offers two distinct code conversion mainframe modernization approaches:
The advantages of code conversion over system transfer and custom build cannot be ignored. The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) recognizes the inherent advantages of code conversion and specifically that this approach maintains functional equivalency between the legacy and new systems. In result, States pursuing this modernization approach do not need to complete the Federal Feasibility Study and may also avoid Federal System Re-certification. The market has taken notice and this modernization approach is gaining popularity and poised to become the standard as IV-D agencies look to pivot off the mainframe to a modern system platform. We invite you to contact us to further discuss your modernization path and our capabilities to help you along the journey.
Child Support programs have an opportunity to evolve to meet the dynamic needs of today’s families. These questions can spark fresh thinking.
How would it look if we empowered both the custodial and non-custodial parents to decide how to support their children?
If states allowed complete pass-through of Child Support collections, how could this drive better outcomes for families?
What if states started using technology to take a more nuanced approach to establishing and enforcing support orders?
Michigan’s Office of Child Support (OCS) plays a crucial role in helping to ensure children receive the financial support they need even when their parents are not together.
The OCS wanted to address a key challenge: that as many as one in five child support cases kept getting “stuck” in pre-obligation, the first step in obtaining an obligation to pay child support.
As a result, too many children were waiting to receive support, and the OCS was at risk of not meeting federal child support guidelines for the percentage of open cases for which obligation is established.
Reflecting Michigan’s strategic goal of using analytics to improve child support services and outcomes for families, the OCS decided to test predictive analytics as a tool for understanding—and reversing—that trend.