Posted October 08, 2018 11:05:27The Child Support enforcement agency, known as CPS, has long been an underfunded and understaffed organization.
As of March 2019, the federal government only had more than 300 employees dedicated to enforcing child support and related civil lawsuits.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that it has less than $500,000 in the federal budget for child support.
This was a big problem in 2014 when President Barack Obama was elected and Congress passed legislation to expand CPS funding to $7,500 per child.
As it stands, the new law would only raise the cap to $10,000.
In the meantime, states like Arizona, Kansas, and Texas have seen an increase in child support cases, but the agency’s funding is not nearly enough to cover its staff, which has been growing at a rate of 1,300 people a month since last year.
“The CPS agency is underfunded, understaffing, and underperforming,” said a CPS spokesperson in an email to IGN.
“The agency has been understaff and underfunded since it was created in 1968.
This is unacceptable.
We will do our best to find the funding that we need to provide our most effective enforcement work, but it won’t be enough to keep up with the pace of growth and funding needs.
We are currently focused on increasing the number of enforcement staff, staffing the office, and addressing the staffing issue.
We expect to have more resources to expand our enforcement efforts in 2018 and 2019.”
While the federal law does not mandate a maximum number of employees to be devoted to child support matters, there are currently more than 400,000 cases in the CPS system, and the agency does not even have enough staff to handle the vast majority of them.
“These cases are so huge that it is hard to imagine that the CPS agency has enough staff or that it can effectively enforce the laws,” said CPS spokesperson Joanna Sargent.
As a result, parents and the courts are left without resources to fight these cases.
“If you have a family court case that is a priority, you can hire attorneys who are trained in this area,” said Sargment.
“But the CPS is not trained in child custody and support cases.”
The lack of staffing also means that child support issues are not only dealt with by lawyers, but also by the public.
The CPS’ caseload is so low that the average caselow is over $1,000 per case, according to the agency.
“Child custody and child support law is complex,” said one former CPS official.
“It’s difficult to get a good answer in a complicated case, especially in a civil case.”
While most states have expanded their child support systems to handle cases of the magnitude of the federal legislation, states can’t do this unless they increase funding for CPS.
“Congress has authorized $2.2 billion in funding for the CPS over the next 10 years, and we can’t provide enough money,” said Jennifer Kuczmarski, the director of policy and government affairs at the National Association of Counties Child Support and Family Support.
“Without additional funding, we will not be able to expand enforcement of our laws and we won’t have the resources to do it.””CPS is in the midst of a major reorganization,” said Kuczynski.
“We’re trying to move our office into a more secure space to address the increasing number of cases that we are handling.
Our goal is to be able [to] handle the growing caselot.
But we need additional resources to continue our mission of providing a safe place for parents to raise their children.”