A Collaboration and Strategic Planning Guide for States: Child Access and Visitation Grant Programsclick to download
Since 1997, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has managed the “Grants to States for Access and Visitation” Program, as administered by 54 states (including the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Approximately $80 million has been made available over the course of the past eight years ($10 million per year) to “. . . enable states to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate noncustodial parents’ access to and visitation of their children,” as mandated by Congress.
In 2003, OCSE retained Policy Studies Inc. (PSI) and the Center for Policy Research (CPR) to prepare a report that would assist states in planning for the most effective use and expenditures of Access and Visitation (AV) grant funds. The purpose of A Collaboration and Strategic Planning Guide is to encourage states to re-evaluate their AV program and funding priorities by equipping them with (1) tools (needs and service assessment instruments); (2) a process for soliciting the input of and establishing partnerships with other key players (e.g., judges, state and family court representatives, child support and faith and community-based agencies); and (3) a format for convening AV related program planning meetings. In addition, this report will assist states in:
- Maximizing the utilization of existing AV grant funds;
- Planning for the use of new AV grant funds anticipated in pending Federal legislation;
- Avoiding duplication of and gaps in services;
- Promoting collaboration among child support enforcement (CSE), courts, public agencies, and faith- and community-based organizations (FBOs/CBOs) to augment services; Targeting the populations most in need of services;
- Exploring all possible funding mechanisms and opportunities for supplementing AV services.
To develop a Guide that is grounded in the actual experiences and needs of states, PSI/CPR worked with three states (Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas) to conduct prototype planning and assessment processes dealing with services to promote access and visitation. The three states selected to work with PSI/CPR have small, medium, and large funding levels for AV programs, respectively. They also had different arrangements for administering the AV grant, with Tennessee administering it through the child support agency and Colorado and Texas administering the grant under the aegis of the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts.
Issue(s): Child Support
Issues & Focus Areas
- Child Support
- Child Welfare
- Early Childhood & Education
- Economic Security & Healthcare
- Father Engagement & Healthy Relationships
- Gender-Based Violence