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CA’s New Improved Child Support Services: Core Mission went “MIA,” as did 800,000 of its Records

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. . . .courtesy a contractor’s subcontractor, both of them reputable companies . . . . .

The solution for invasion or violation of rights in THIS country was to have been, from the start, stated clearly in the U.S. Constitution — written down for all to see, and then it was up to us to practice THAT model.  Not every service model that is cooked up somewhere, and flown in as fast-food to state level by individuals IN the state with memberships in nationwide, PRIVATE, “nonprofit” associations which exist for the profit and proliferation of their membership — whether or not they actually deliver the product.

First of all, it’s from Child to Family to Social Restructuring.  The word “Child” is handy for almost any program to be promoted.  Once it’s sold (Aw, how wonderful — you love children and want to advocate for them?  Sure, where do I sign?):

Take for example, “Child Support Enforcement.”

That entire concept is now “old school” apparently, just the core mission in amid a bunch of evolving (self-) definitions.

In fact, it’s starting to look (in hindsight) more and more like the concept of enforcing child support to actually reduce (versus expand) welfare . . . . . was just an excuse to get too many cooks in the kitchen, add “access/visitation” concepts, keep records of New Hires for all business owners (if possible), garnish wages, incarcerate men or women who can’t pay up (however, men can sometimes “buy” their way out by participating in programs oriented towards men, i.e., Kentucky’s “Turning It Around.”)

By the state’s going plastic (via SDU – Statewide Distribution Units), someone, somewhere has a record of where any parent subscribing to electronic child support cards gets to have recorded what they buy, where, and when — when such people may not have done anything to warrant such intrusions.  The act of a single parent needing child support does not a criminal make!  Nor does the act of at times or for a time needing welfare.   However, the poor exist for a reason, and the powers that be might as well make a little business profit off the proposition, right?

 

This is from California’s Child Support Services home — a nice diagram to explain what “child support enforcement” actually means.  Keep in mind that the concept of child support enforcement is socially a pretty new one (just a few decades old).  Notice the core mission is rather equipped by the add-ons….

CORE Mission: Locate Parents; Establish Paternity; Establish Orders; Collect Support

Regarding Child Support Services –they are now “family centered.”

Fathers
Matter
Jobs &
Financial
Tools
R U
Ready
2 B A
Parent?
Positive
Parenting
Family
Violence
Awareness
Options for
Health Care
The Department is one of twelve departments and one board under the umbrella of the
California Health and Human Services Agency:
CHHS ADP | CSD | DDS | EMSA | DHCS | MRMIB | DMH | DPH | DOR | OSHPD | CDSS

If you  click on any of the circles above, it will lead you to some private/public/nonprofit admixture of PR campaign, technical assistance and training, and etc.  — all of which generally involves (1) more public funds at some level and (2) tax exemption for whoever “thunk it up.”

For example (having clicked on all of the circles), here’s what you’re lead to if you click on ‘Fathers Matter”  Notice that it’s aimed at very basic, basic level of understanding:

A popup (rectangle shaped) with some links shows.  Wasn’t that technologically advanced clever HTML for the DCSS site to put up?  Yes, I thought you’d agree:

Fathers Matter
Fathers are such an essential part of a child’s life. This information describes the role that Fathers have in a child’s success, encourages Fathers to become involved with their child, provides information on how to establish legal paternity for their child, and offers assistance with court-related issues.
I’m sure that the “EVOLVING NATURE” (AND EXPANSION) of CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES WAS SIMPLY RESPONSIVE TO CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES AND NOT PLANNED by ANY NONPROFIT NATIONWIDE TRADE ASSOCIATION OF CHILD SUPPORT DIRECTORS    (Sure, right).

IN 1999

RESOLUTION ON CHILD SUPPORT FUNDING AND PERFORMANCE

Adopted by NCSEA Board of Directors on January 30, 1999

Introduction:

The National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) is committed to increasing child support collections and to improving the delivery of child support services to children and families. Increasing collections to desired levels could result in financial stability for more families, as well as significant offset savings in other human service programs and the federal budget. However, increasing collections to the desired level requires adequate funding.

THEREFORE, the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) resolves that:

1. Based on current information, NCSEA opposes any reduction in federal, state and local funding to the child support program and urges continued partnership to provide adequate program funding.

2. A full study of child support financing must be completed.

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has already gathered information about the current use of funding and has consulted with a number of constituencies about program funding needs. To assist in completing this study, the federal government should create a formal workgroup that involves appropriate players, including NCSEA, NCSCSEA, NGA, NCSL, APHSA, and other advocacy organizations, along with OCSE.

The study should identify the appropriate method for ensuring an increased level of investment in the program by federal, state, and local governments in a way that:

• advances the child support program’s evolving mission,

How nice to know what (WTF) all those initials stand for.  Now that my kids child support was improperly terminated overnight (for all intents and purposes) while more court professionals were (needlessly, in our case — a simple reading of the court orders and adhering to them would’ve sufficed, or — if a radical restructuring such as custody were to be ordered — some legal and factual reasons for it might’ve been brought up, but instead discussion of them was just shut down,) . . . . .  I might as well find out what this group was up to ….  For example, I know know what the last two stand for  NCSL & APHSA.
In the next (1999) paragraphs, please pay close attention to three expressions:   (1)  “HOWEVER……”   and (2) STATUS QUO….(3) NOT ENOUGH.  In short, the things it was sold to the public for (which are foremost feeding and clothing children, keeping single mothers off welfare) are ok, HOWEVER . .. and this “status quo” of the actual, literal purpose for child support programs (& funding) to exist — is “NOT ENOUGH” as per 1996 welfare reform.
I keep telling us it’s about that welfare reform (that chinked open the door for “evolving child support programs”)

Background:

1. All funding is needed to ensure services to families. Child support:

Feeds and clothes children, keeps single moms off welfare, and emphasizes personal responsibility for both parents—moms and dads.

{{NOTE;  AS OF 1999 LOTS OF MOTHERS WERE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS, AND DON’T NEED AUTHORITIES TO REMIND THEM ABOUT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES AS MOTHERS.  THEY NEEDED A WAY OUT OF VIOLENCE, WHICH CAN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT SHELTER, FOOD, AND TRANSPORTATION, WHICH ARE OFTEN CONTROLLED BY THE ABUSERS DURING THE RELATIONSHIP, INCLUDING ONGOING WORK INTERFERENCES). OF COURSE, SUCH WOMEN WEREN’T INVITED TO NCSEA CONFERENCES, NOR THEIR VOICES MOST LIKELY HEARD AT THEM….}}}

Ideally, child support exists instead of welfare. However, maintaining the status quo in the child support program is not enough. We need to ensure that resources are available to allow the child support program to achieve the expected results from implementation of the new enforcement tools established by the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).

IN 2011, 12 years later, same group (NCSEA)!

  1. ncsea4.timberlakepublishing.com/…/DetailedSchedule-January-20-20…

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    Jan 20, 2011 – ACF Initiatives and the Evolving Mission of Child Support  Child Support Enforcement: It’s the Government Program That Works, and We Can 


    National Child Support Enforcement Association 2011 Policy Forum & Training Conference

    DETAILED SCHEDULE

    (Presenters confirmed as of January 20, 2011)

    10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PLENARY II Fragile Fathers: Their Behavior and Engagement with their Children Leaders from both the left and the right have derided unmarried men for failing to “take responsibility” for their progeny. New survey evidence shows that 8 in 10 unmarried fathers are still together with the mother when the baby is born, and nearly all intend to remain involved with their child. Come to find out why five years later only about half of these men are still seeing their children every week. Presenters: Cynthia Osborne, Natalie Dillon

    10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PLENARY VI A Different Set of Evidentiary Rules: A Research Driven Approach to Child Support Program Innovation Child support programs consistently face the dilemma of whether they can afford to implement new strategies because it “seems” like they should work, or whether they should continue to use the same strategies because “if it’s not broke, why fix it?” This dilemma can only be solved with more evidence and evaluation of both current and innovative practices. ACF will set the stage on the Administration’s focus on evidence based practice. State IV-D directors with their university partners will highlight how they use— and how they collaborate with researchers to obtain evidence to improve child support operations. The discussion will consider how evaluation of current and innovative strategies, as well as evidence-based practices, can affect change throughout the child support agency and community and ultimately better serve families and children. Presenters: Martha Coven, Carolyn Heinrich, Elaine Sorensen, Susan Pfeiffer, Lee Sapienza

    3:30 PM – 5:00 PM – PLENARY IV

    Child Support Enforcement: It’s the Government Program That Works, and We Can Prove It!

    The child support enforcement program is not immune to the impact of budget pressures, but it is widely recognized as a highly cost-effective program with national bi-partisan support. It returns money to state coffers, it keeps families off of costly subsidy programs, it enjoys support from employers, it gets reliable income and health insurance coverage to families, and it demonstrably brings in more money than it costs. National experts will discuss the unique program features that drive the demonstrated successful outcomes of the program, and IV-D will present their strategies for educating state elected officials and media about how the program works, how it is financed, and how it helps state budgets by keeping families self-supporting. As new governors and state cabinet officials take office and new Congressional leadership comes to Washington, it’s a good time to review the many documented successes of our program.

    Presenters: Kim Newsom Bridges, Ron Haskins, Deborah Weinstein, Jan Sturla, Alicia Key


I’m rather opinionated on the topic of Ron Haskins (See this blog), and as we can see he’s doing quite well pontificating on these matters.  I also see he’s on the Board of MDRC (a major corporation — also see this blog, or look it up) at least as a consultant, and that he’s also (or was) a senior consultant with Annie E. Casey Foundation, which is a clear fatherhood funder, and one of the major players in that field:

  1. Ron Haskins – Brookings Institution

    A former White House and congressional advisor on welfare issues,Ron Haskins co-directs the Brookings Center on Children and Families and Budgeting for 

  2. Images for Ron Haskins

    – Report images

  3. Ron Haskins – Center for American Progress

    Ron Haskins is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution and senior 

  4. Ron Haskins – The Huffington Post

    Mar 29, 2010 – Ron Haskins is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings 

  5. The Arena: – Ron Haskins Bio

    Ron Haskins is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution and senior 

He gets press, quoted, consultancies, and professional development for the privilege of screwing mothers who ran across a Title IV-A or IV-D program for any reason.  He allegedly (nafcj.net asserts, and the blog author was around WDC at the time) personally appended the Access/Visitation script onto Welfare Reform at the VERY 9th hour, meaning, probably the “10th” hour — after his own colleagues (in Congress) had signed off on it.  this is horrible legislation (45 CFR 303.109 shows its true purpose) and is funding some of the worst, most terroristic programs that men and women both complain about in the family law system, and programs which (1) enable too much double-billing and fraud; (2) are known to accommodate court professionals actually forming nonprofits that take program funds to run these businesses, while maintaining conflict-of-interest involvement in the custody cases, and (3) are literally designed to incentivize a certain outcome called “increased noncustodial time.”  Point being that without these payments, the facts of the case alone might not justify the increased noncustodial time.  Big brother ,however ,wants it because (ALLEGEDLY) Dads who have more contact with their children will pay up better.  Sure.

Ron Haskins is not a scientist.  He’s not an attorney for sure.  This is his degree history:

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History, a Master’s in Education, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, from UNC, Chapel Hill.

He’s a fatherhood advocate and simply likes to hang out with fatherhood guys, inbetween writing and talking about family matters.  REALLY– what tangible public products or services would that pattern of degrees produce?  If the person isn’t going to be a college professor somewhere, what better place to land than in (and out of) government?
Look who’s at this 2009 Brookings Symposium in which the National Fatherhood Initiative has the nerve to report on what Mothers say, and discuss it with their leadership — not seeking input AT THAT FORUM from noncustodial mothers who have been affected by previous fatherhood programs.  These are called “think tanks” for a reason — because the while there’s a glass one can look in there, the water is contained and the ideas circulated within and among those in the tank, is not often refreshed by free-flowing discourse from other sources.
Haskins is a member (actually) of the NATIONAL  FATHERHOOD LEADERS GROUP, whose agenda is to (further) develop the field of “fatherhood” and get more funding for it.  Reference to this group is all over the web, as the leaders group are already leading other fatherhood-agenda-driven nonprofits (or institutes) themselves.   It shows up as a facilitator.  I just wonder if it’s taking donations and paying taxes!
Federal funding:

Our History

The NFLG formally began as an organization in 2003. We initially came together to discuss possible strategies for strengthening the responsible fatherhood field. NFLG became incorporated in the District of Columbia in 2007 and is current[LY] pursuing 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

It’s a little trickier to look up corporate filings in D.C. than in some other states — however, this is the year 2012, and (5 years later) I still don’t see any nonprofit status under nccsdataweb.urban.org

Since that time, we have grown into a group of 10 persons, all of whom have served in leadership positions in a variety of organization that have worked in the areas of family advocacy, youth services and fatherhood.  The members have chosen to use their collective experience and reputations to contribute to the improvement of policies and practices that affect the lives of disadvantaged children and their families throughout the United States.

NFLG members have participated in significant activities to strengthen the fatherhood field over the past few years, such as:

  • Providing verbal and written testimony to Congress during deliberations that led to passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (which provided up to $50 million of federal funding for fatherhood initiatives);
  • Playing an active role, in support of one of our member organizations, the National Partnership for Community Leadership (NPCL), in planning and carrying-out the Eighth International Fatherhood Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in June of this year;

In this next plenary we can see again (well- now that it’s published. The membership of NCSEA is child support enforcement agency directors — not the common public) . . . .  how the word “PARENTS (alternately “FAMILIES”)  in the child support system” is interpreted, practically speaking, to mean FATHERS.

Read carefully:

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Workshop 303 Asset Building for Parents in the Child Support Program The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) recently launched an initiative in collaboration with the Office of Community Services (OCS) to promote savings and asset accumulation among families involved in the child support system. Building Assets for Fathers and Families will help child support agencies, fatherhood programs and other community-based organizations partnered with Assets for Independence (AFI) projects in their areas. As part of this project, OCSE has funded 7 states, through 1115 waivers—to test such partnerships. Come to this session to hear from a panel of AFI and child support program participants about how asset-building services can help both custodial and noncustodial parents strengthen their economic standing. Presenters: John Jolly, Kimberly Dent, David Stillman, Marcel Goulet, Suzanne Parks

I have another post, I’m fairly sure, on Section 1115 Waivers.  The word Waiver means, a rule exists, and someone waives it.  It’s that simple!

Why shouldn’t the custodial parents receive any help in building assets and thereby perhaps get off the system entirely?  Why — REALLY why — are we expected to believe that the trickle-down effect is going to work when so many times it doesn’t?

Old Proverb:  Feed a man, and you’ve fed a man.  Feed a woman, and you’ve fed a family.

(I’ve posted on that link before, pretty sure)….

Here’s an article — dated TODAY — 4/6/2012 — from “San Diego Reader” about how our nice child support department, during a “disaster training” exercise — lost a good deal of private information on California’s parent/child information.  read it carefully and understand that — well, I won’t say exactly how — but we have this wonderfully expensive, unaccountable (other than primarily to itself) organization, StateWideDistribution Units (SDUs) which were allegedly better than having District Attorneys simply sitting on the collected money (garnished wages) while it collected interest, and refusing to distribute it to the children.  I fail to see what children this was helping (other than of employees engaged in the practice).  That was the Richard Fine Silva v. Garcetti case (Los Angeles) and one of the straws that attempted to break his spirit through 18 months incarceration.  (It didn’t work).  The other straw also involved money improperly paid to judges.   Such a deal we have in our local and statewide judiciary AND chief enforcement officers (District Attorneys) AND agencies, such as this one:

The California Department of Child Support Services, which regulates the collection and payment of child support services, has begun distributing letters to its clients advising that storage devices went missing in transit between Colorado and California around March 12. The devises were initially sent to Colorado as part of an exercise in disaster preparedness.

In a two-page letter sent to its clients, the department relayed that the devices not only contained the identities of both the parent and child, but also included images and scanned documents of Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, health care providers, and employer information.

In the letter sent to parents, the interim Director of Child Support Services, Kathleen Hrepich, recommends that as a precautionary measure, customers, at their own expense, should review their credit reports for identity theft and fraudulent activity. There is no offer from the department to cover the expense of credit monitoring, although the department claims it has advised the three major credit reporting agencies.

Coincidentally, in a credit report requested on March 26 for myself (a client of this government department), I found no reference in my credit report to substantiate the claim that Hrepich, or her department, have made any contact with the three credit reporting agencies.

More, on the same incident

800,000 Child Support Records Lost

Backup Cartridges Contained Personal Information

By Howard Anderson, March 30, 2012.Credit Eligible  (@ “govinfosecurity.com”)

800,000 Child Support Records Lost

Four backup storage cartridges containing personal information on about 800,000 adults and children in California’s child support system were lost during shipment, state officials say.

The backup cartridges contained such information as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, drivers’ license or identification numbers, names of health insurance providers, health insurance plan membership identification numbers and employer information, officials say in describing the breach.

. . .

Lost in Transit

The department learned March 12 that the cartridges apparently were lost during their air shipment by FedEx from an IBM facility in Colorado to California. The department had sent four cartridges to an IBM facility in Boulder so IBM could test whether it could remotely run the state’s child support system in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake, Lally confirms.

Iron Mountain, a contractor the department uses for secure transportation of sensitive materials, hired FedEx as a subcontractor for flight transportation services, Lally says. “We believe that the containers were not properly secured at the IBM facility, allowing the storage devices to be lost in transit,” she adds.

Like Maximus, a company I’d never have thought of til I got involved in (screwed by) the child support system and it’s family-oriented programming (like Access/Visitation & Fatherhood, Compromise of Arrears, and “the black hole of undistributed collected child support” etc., and the $4 billion annually price tag to do this) — I guess SOMEONE has to do government business, so why not have a world leader, if you’re going to have  subcontractor (Fed Ex) lose your stuff?
I see one of Iron Mountain’s Board of Directors has a FedEx connection.  Their stock’s about $28 right now.  Some people who lost a lot in this process may want to invest if it goes lower; I’m sure the public will forget this travesty soon enough  . . . . .

We’re Iron Mountain, an Information Management Company

Iron Mountain is a world leader in information management services, assisting more than 140,000 organizations in 39 countries on five continents with storing, protecting and managing their information.

Publicly traded under NYSE symbol IRM, Iron Mountain is a S&P 500 company and a member of the Fortune 1000 (currently ranked: 643). Organizations in every major industry and of all sizes—including more than 97% of the Fortune 1000—rely on Iron Mountain as their information management partner.

We’re proud that our customers have put their trust with us. We safely store some of the world’s most valuable historical artifacts, cultural treasures, business documents and medical records. To properly protect and render this information, Iron Mountain employs almost 20,000 professionals and boasts an unrivaled infrastructure that includes more than 1,000 facilities, 10 data centers and 3,500 vehicles.

I’d never heard of Hrepich:  Here’s her bio — she’s new since April 2011:

Director’s Biography

Kathleen Hrepich, Interim Director

Kathleen Hrepich

Interim Director
California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS)

Welcome to the DCSS Website. As Interim Director I want the customers of the child support program to have easy access to the information and services of other programs serving families, mothers and fathers and children. This concept is called Family Centered Child Support Services.

Biography of Interim Director Kathleen Hrepich

Kathleen Hrepich has served as Interim Director for the State Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) since April 1, 2011. Ms. Hrepich was appointed Deputy Director and Chief Counsel for the State DCSS on January 4, 2009, and continues to also serve in that capacity.

So — if before the appointment of a regular director, someone SUES the DCSS (including over distributing their personal data negligently), she would be both the head of the department and the counsel defending it?

Prior to state service Ms. Hrepich was Director of the Sierra Nevada Regional Department of Child Support Services and previously served as the Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office prior to the creation of the local child support agency. Ms. Hrepich was employed by Nevada County for ten years

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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