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Memorandum on the Child Support Initiative

June 18, 1996

Memorandum for the Secretary of Health and Human Services

Subject: Child Support Initiative

I hereby direct you to implement the plan I am announcing today to strengthen the child support system and promote parental responsibility.

I direct you to exercise your legal authority to take the following steps to implement that plan:

1) issue proposed regulations relating to paternity establishment that:

(a) clarify the definition, under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, of "cooperation" with paternity establishment by requiring that a mother provide both the name of the father and other identifying information deemed appropriate by the State (except when there is good cause, such as being in danger of domestic violence, for not cooperating);

(b) require all applicants for assistance under the AFDC program to cooperate with paternity establishment efforts prior to the receipt of assistance; and

(c) require that applicants for assistance under the AFDC program be referred to the State child support agency within 2 days of application, so that the agency can initiate a legal paternity action; and

2) implement a pilot program matching newhire data collected by participating States with Federal Parent Locator Service data in order to better track parents owing child support obligations who have taken a job in another State.

The plan I have outlined will help strengthen child support operations by toughening the paternity establishment requirements for applicants for welfare and by enabling States to locate, and withhold wages from, child support obligors who have taken a job in another State. Its prompt implementation is integral to achieving our goal of promoting the American value of parental responsibility.


William J. Clinton, Memorandum on the Child Support Initiative Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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