Tribal and State Collaboration Benefits All IV-D Programs

Aimee Turner

In the Tribal Child Support field, a lot of us often find ourselves feeling as though we are continually in competition with our state counterparts despite the fact that we are all working toward the same goal of building a future for communities absent children living in poverty.

Considering today’s national economics, Tribal IV-D programs stand in an unique position to reach out to our neighboring states to offer assistance in enforcing child support. With state budget cuts across the board, we have the opportunity to cross the threshold to work together rather than simply parallel to one another.

Several tribes have already extended an offer to their state counterparts and asked what they can do to assist. Many of these offers have been met with enthusiasm and gratitude. In turn, States have also exhibited a willingness to assist Tribal programs with enforcement issues. Much of the collaboration can be traced to building a history of mutual respect between Tribal and State programs.

Its no secret, Tribal IV-D was implemented to fill the void in Indian Country. It has taken some time, but States are now beginning to understand that this identified void was due to no fault of their’s but was a natural consequence of dealing with complex jurisdictional issues.

By joining forces, Tribes and States are able to benefit from better location tools, recognition of foreign orders for cooperative enforcement efforts, and collection resources that have insured obligors have no where to hide.

We would be interested to hear what your Tribal IV-D program is doing to collaborate with the State, and whether that relationship has improved, and if so, how.

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