The Ray Marshall Center is conducting a program evaluation to measure the impacts of the Integrated Child Support System (ICSS) that requires those getting divorced or separated to be referred to the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for IV-D child support services. Operating under a waiver from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) in 17 counties, the ICSS changes the default action from opt-in to opt-out in order to increase participation in IV-D services, raise child support compliance, and avoid the accumulation of child support debt.
The evaluation will report on child support compliance over time, including amount of payment and stability of payment as well as enforcement actions taken, cost effectiveness, and reasons parents choose to opt out.
Researchers will conduct the waiver evaluation using a combination of random assignment and comparison site evaluation designs to measure the impacts of the waiver at statewide and county-level operational scales in Texas. The evaluation will use multiple data sets, including OAG administrative records data for determining child support case characteristics, child support obligations, collections, and enforcement actions; Unemployment Insurance (UI) quarterly wage records, U.S. Census data, county level child support data, and other data sources.