Child Support Enforcement Research


To provide federal funds for experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects that are likely to assist in promoting the objectives of Part D of Title IV. Section 1115 provides that 'the project - 1) must be designed to improve the financial well-being of children or otherwise improve the operation of the child support program; 2) may not permit modifications in the child support program which would have the effect of disadvantaging children in need of support; and 3) must not result in increased cost to the federal government under Part A of such title." The principal purpose is to carry out the public purpose of implementing a demonstration project that is likely to "improve the financial well-being of children or otherwise improve the operation of the child support program" as stated in the statutory authority. Any responsibility to the federal government is a condition for receiving the grant, but not a principal purpose.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Administration for Children and Families
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Nine grants were awarded and nine grant awards to support existing programs. Fiscal Year 2015: It is anticipated that 18 grant awards will be made to include nine new grant awards and nine grant awards to support existing programs. Fiscal Year 2016: It is anticipated that 8-10 new grants will be awarded.
Social Security, Title IV, Part D, Section 1115, 42 U.S.C 1315.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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 2 CFR 225 for State governments. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The standard application forms, as furnished by DHHS and 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. Eligible interested parties are encouraged to submit applications on 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., HHS-2010 - ACF - OCSE-FD-0113) 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 fewer 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.
Award Procedure
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.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 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, the reasons for disapproval will be fully stated, 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 in the future.
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.
How are proposals selected?
(1) Program Design; (2) Program Management; (3) Evaluation Design; and (4) Budget and Budget Justification.
How may assistance be used?
In FY 2015, Section 1115 grants are dedicated to the first year of the OCSE Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services Demonstration (BICS) Projects, the third year of the OCSE National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) Projects and to the evaluation of these demonstration projects. All grants must follow the program requirements and restrictions outlined in the funding opportunity announcement (HHS-2012-ACF-OCSE-FD-0297 for CSPED and HHS-2014-ACF-OCSE-0818 for BICS) and follow all of the standard terms and conditions for ACF grant awards, not limited to what is described in the HHS Grants Policy Statement.
The BICS funding provides states with the opportunity to test and evaluate how behavioral economics can be used to improve child support services. To accomplish these goals, grantees are mapping out their current systems to find bottlenecks or areas in which parents become disengaged and design behavioral interventions that use theories from psychology and related fields to improve program outcomes.
The CSPED funding provides states with the opportunity to implement a child support-led model that provides a comprehensive set of services that have previously been associated with successful outcomes as part of a rigorous experimental evaluation in order to learn how to improve child support payments among underemployed or unemployed noncustodial parents. To accomplish these goals, grantees administer a package of child support, employment, and fatherhood services for noncustodial parents, and collect and report data on participants and those assigned to the control group, as agreed upon with OCSE.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Semi-annual program narrative reports and semi-annual expenditure reports are required. Periodic monitoring is conducted by the federal project office when progress reports are reviewed. Semi-annual expenditure reports are required. Quarterly reports are required. Semi-annual expenditure reports are required. Periodic monitoring is conducted by the Federal Project Officer when progress reports are reviewed.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. All fiscal transactions identifiable to federal financial assistance are subject to audit by the HHS audit agency, and other federal officials.
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 75. 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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. But may require an administratively imposed non-federal match.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Section 1115 grants are typically three years in length. FY 2013 grants will be five years in length. For multi-year projects, support beyond the first year is contingent upon acceptable evidence of satisfactory progress and availability of funds. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Regional Administrators. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Regional Offices).
Headquarters Office
Lauren Antelo 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20447 Email: Phone: 202 401-5602
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 14 $3,752,276; FY 15 est $4,000,000; and FY 16 est $4,000,000 - OCSE and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are both eligible to obligate no more than the full annual allocation.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
FY 14 $125,083 to $800,000.
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.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.