Working with Low-Income Cases: Lessons for the Child Support Enforcement System from Parents' Fair Share. VI. Revising Local Enforcement Procedures to Make PFS Work Better: A Case Study of Montgomery County


When Montgomery County began the PFS Demonstration, local staff anticipated that many NCPs would be appropriate for the program and could be referred to its services. Early estimates of the pool of potential referrals exceeded 6,000 cases. However, as implementation of PFS began, it became apparent that there were serious problems with early projections. Efforts to draw random samples of possible referrals to PFS from the CSE caseload quickly exhausted the pool of identified cases and few NCPs were reaching the hearings at which their appropriateness for PFS could be assessed. In the ensuing two years of the demonstration, local staff found new ways to identify more NCPs who potentially could benefit from PFS and shifted to a different type of hearing that lessened delays at this stage. This brief case study of the experience in Montgomery County first presents initial plans for identifying NCPs appropriate for PFS and then describes how local staff responded to the slow pace of program participant buildup.