Health and Human Services

Child Support

Empowering families to support children

Bold change for better outcomes

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.

While Child Support programs are quite efficient at obtaining support from parents who work and have an ability to pay support, for other parents, the program has inherited certain biases.

The next generation of child support

Child Support programs face pressing challenges: Rising caseloads. Access to skilled caseworkers. Regulatory complexity. And reduced funding. They can’t solve those challenges with legacy technology systems—which often require heavy manual intervention and come up short on interoperability and visibility.

Foundation for Accenture Child Support Enforcement Solutions (FACSES) provides a better option: the ability to deploy proven, modern and flexible systems. FACSES is certified, proven purpose-built and reflective of Accenture’s 30+ years of software solution experience and deep knowledge of child support enforcement (CSE). It offers faster, lower-risk implementation using a repository of configurable and certified CSE application components. And it’s ready for integration alignment to the Accenture Public Service Platform—enabling agencies to manage and integrate citizen services in a way that puts families at the center.

“Accenture brings a tremendous amount of knowledge to the table. They also bring [a] sense of how important the mission of child support is to families, as well as the creativity to see what’s possible in the future and what we can be doing to do a better job serving the families of our country.”

– MARILYN STEPHEN, IV-D Director – Michigan Department of Human Services

Supporting innovation for children and families

Let’s reimagine how we engage with the families involved in Child Support programs. Let’s use design thinking and breakthrough innovations to put people at the center. Let’s make a difference – together.

Increasing transparency in establishing child support obligations Increasing Transparency in Child Support

Accenture and Fjord used service design to create a new and better way to calculate child support obligations.

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Child support: Three bold questions

Child Support programs have an opportunity to evolve to meet the dynamic needs of today’s families. These questions can spark fresh thinking.

Empower parents

How would it look if we empowered both the custodial and non-custodial parents to decide how to support their children?

Rethink cost recovery

If states allowed complete pass-through of Child Support collections, how could this drive better outcomes for families?

Unleash innovation

What if states started using technology to take a more nuanced approach to establishing and enforcing support orders?

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Michigan’s Office of Child Support

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.

A pilot by the Office of Child Support within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows how analytics help shape better outcomes.

Envision a better future

“Let’s ask bold questions and embrace new approaches that truly put children and families at the center. We can transform how we deliver outcomes.”

Jamie Walker

Managing Director, Lead – Child Support Industry


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