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May 11 , 2006

Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Support Ranked Number One Nationally for Performance

PIERRE, S.D. – For the sixth consecutive year, Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Support has received the top national ranking for its performance and commitment to helping children in our state, according to a report by Policy Studies Incorporated out of Denver, Colorado.

This report is based on the following five performance measures, which determine each state’s rating and are used to calculate federal incentive payments:

1. Percentage of Paternity Establishment
2. Percentage of Order Establishment
3. Percentage of Current Support Collections
4. Percentage of Cases with Collections on Arrears
5. Ratio of Cost Effectiveness

“This recognition is a tribute to the dedication, commitment and professionalism demonstrated by each and every Child Support employee throughout South Dakota,” said Department of Social Services Secretary Deborah Bowman. “This top ranking signifies the commitment that Child Support staff has to establishing paternity and child support orders and collecting child support owed to children in South Dakota.”

South Dakota will receive a federal incentive payment of approximately $1.4 million for federal fiscal year 2005. According to Terry Walter, Division Director of Child Support, South Dakota will use the money to match federal dollars to fund the state’s child support program.

During state fiscal year 2006 (July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006), South Dakota DCS projects to:

  • Collect a total of $83 million in child support
  • Process 490,000 payments
  • Establish or acknowledge paternity for 3,500 children born out of wedlock
  • Create 2,100 new child support orders
  • Complete more than 36,000 successful enforcement actions

Walter said DCS has 36,000 open enforcement cases and 8,000 payment processing only cases, for a total of 44,000 cases.

“South Dakota operates an effective and efficient child support program,” Walter said. “We will continue to help children in our state by assisting families in locating non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, and enforcing child support payments.”