In 1995 the Texas Legislature authorized the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to improve child support services statewide through the creation of an Integrated Child Support System (ICSS) wherein the OAG may provide IV-D child support enforcement services under contract with counties that elect to participate in the system. The OAG sought and was granted a waiver from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) of the requirement for a written application for IV-D services in participating ICSS counties. The waiver was renewed several times, but with the last approval the OAG was required to have the program independently evaluated. The OAG contracted with the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources (RMC) to design and conduct an evaluation to measure the impacts of ICSS, the results of which are included in this final report. The Ray Marshall Center conducted the ICSS waiver evaluation using a combination of random assignment and composite pre-post evaluation designs to measure the impacts of the waiver at the county level. The evaluation relied primarily on OAG administrative records data, Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records, public assistance administrative records data, U.S. Bureau of the Census data, and other sources. These were used for estimating net impacts and for identifying relevant factors that may influence or be associated with the observed impacts. A process study provided a sufficient understanding of the structure and functioning of ICSS as implemented in order to accurately estimate the impacts of the waiver. The key research question for the impact analysis was: What effect did the ICSS waiver have on the collection and enforcement of child support in areas in which it was implemented? (Excerpt from author executive summary)
Texas integrated child support system: Final evaluation report
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