AUSTIN, TEXAS (Attorney General) – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Child Support Division was recognized Tuesday as the nation’s best child support program by the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA). Charles Smith, Deputy for the Child Support Division, accepted the Outstanding Program Award at NCSEA’s 2014 Annual Training Conference and Expo in Portland, Ore.
“I am honored that the Texas child support program has been recognized as the very best in the nation,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Child Support Division employees, child support collections continue to increase in the State of Texas. This success not only helps children all across the State, but it also ensures that parents – not the taxpayers – financially support their children.”
NCSEA’s Outstanding Program Award recognizes a state, regional, county or tribal program that consistently and comprehensively exemplifies excellence in child support enforcement. The Texas program was singled out because of its record of exemplary performance, which includes the following rankings:
- First in the nation for total collections
- First in the nation for collections per full-time employee
- First in the nation for cost effectiveness
The Texas program ranks first in the nation for collecting more than $3.6 billion in child support for the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013. According to the Fiscal Year 2013 Preliminary Data Report recently released by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, Texas is first among 54 states, territories and districts for the amount of child support collected, the amount of child support collected per employee, and cost effectiveness.
For the past seven years, the Attorney General’s Child Support Division has collected more child support than any other state in the nation – and more than $31 billion has been collected since Attorney General Abbott took office in December 2002. Between 2012 and 2013, Texas’s collections grew by $226 million and accounted for more than 72 percent of the $312 million national increase in child support collections. Texas’s collection growth is especially significant in an economic climate that has resulted in most states experiencing year-to-year declines in child support collections since 2008.
Based on 2013 performance data, Texas leads the country in collections per child support employee. Texas’s collections per employee averaged $1.35 million, compared to the national average of $560,000 per employee. In addition, by collecting $11.61 for every dollar spent, the Texas program ranks first in cost effectiveness, and surpasses the national average of $5.47 by 212 percent.
Tuesday’s award marks the second time that the Texas program has received top honors from NCSEA. In 2007, for the first time in its history, the Attorney General’s Child Support Division received the NCSEA Outstanding Program award. In 2005, Attorney General Abbott received NCSEA’s State Leader of the Year award for his contributions to more effective child support enforcement.
NCSEA is a membership organization that supports a community of more than 60,000 child support professionals at the state, local, tribal and international level. NCSEA’s mission is to enhance financial, medical and emotional support for children through professional development of its membership, advocacy and public awareness.
For more information about the Office of the Attorney General and the child support services it offers, call (800) 252-8014 or visit the agency’s website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.