ACF Approves Child Support Demonstration in Virginia

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HHS News Release

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) today announced the award of a $990,000 grant to the state of Virginia to support a demonstration project to promote improvements in child support enforcement efforts.

The project's main goals are to improve paternity establishment and increase financial support for children. In addition, it will attempt to promote stable family environments, improve couples' relationships, and reduce the potential for domestic violence. Project personnel will be required to screen participants for evidence of domestic violence and refer appropriate individuals for services.

"This project is part of a continuing effort to develop and test new strategies to support healthy marriage and parental relationships with the goals of improving the well-being of children, promoting paternity establishment, and making sure that children get both the emotional and the financial support that they need and deserve," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said.

ACF will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to assess the project's implementation and its impact on the families and children and on the operation of the Child Support Program. The four-year project, to be implemented in Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and York County, will leverage existing efforts in the area and be supplemented by private funding. This grant represents additional funding to the State and will not affect the amount of federal funds available to administer the child support program.

"With this project, we continue to add another dimension to the child support program" said Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., assistant secretary for children and families. "Children need all kinds of support, including the reassurance that comes from seeing their parents in a healthy relationship."

The grant is awarded under the guidance of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act and requires the project be designed to improve the financial well-being of children or otherwise improve the operation of the child support enforcement program. Section 1115 of the Social Security Act authorizes states to conduct experimental, pilot or demonstration projects that are likely to assist in promoting the objectives of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

Contact: ACF Press Office (202) 401-9215
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