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California Family Code 17306 - (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:...

   (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) While the State Department of Social Services has had
statutory authority over the child support system, the locally
elected district attorneys have operated their county programs with a
great deal of autonomy.
(2) District attorneys have operated the child support programs
with different forms, procedures and priorities, making it difficult
to adequately evaluate and modify performance statewide.
(3) Problems collecting child support reflect a fundamental lack
of leadership and accountability in the collection program. These
management problems have cost California taxpayers and families
billions of dollars.
(b) The director shall develop uniform forms, policies and
procedures to be employed statewide by all local child support
agencies. Pursuant to this subdivision, the director shall:
(1) Adopt uniform procedures and forms.
(2) Establish standard caseworker to case staffing ratios,
adjusted as appropriate to meet the varying needs of local programs.
(3) Establish standard attorney to caseworker ratios, adjusted as
appropriate to meet the varying needs of local programs.
(4) Institute a consistent statewide policy on the appropriateness
of closing cases to ensure that, without relying solely on federal
minimum requirements, all cases are fully and pragmatically pursued
for collections prior to closing.
(5) Evaluate the best practices for the establishment,
enforcement, and collection of child support, for the purpose of
determining which practices should be implemented statewide in an
effort to improve performance by local child support agencies. In
evaluating the best practices, the director shall review existing
practices in better performing counties within California, as well as
practices implemented by other state Title IV-D programs nationwide.
(6) Evaluate the best practices for the management of effective
child support enforcement operations for the purpose of determining
what management structure should be implemented statewide in an
effort to improve the establishment, enforcement, and collection of
child support by local child support agencies, including an
examination of the need for attorneys in management level positions.
In evaluating the best practices, the director shall review existing
practices in better performing counties within California, as well as
practices implemented by other state Title IV-D programs nationwide.
(7) Set priorities for the use of specific enforcement mechanisms
for use by both the local child support agency and the Franchise Tax
Board. As part of establishing these priorities, the director shall
set forth caseload processing priorities to target enforcement
efforts and services in a way that will maximize collections and
avoid welfare dependency.
(8) Develop uniform training protocols, require periodic training
of all child support staff, and conduct training sessions as
appropriate.
(9) Review and approve annual budgets submitted by the local child
support agencies to ensure each local child support agency operates
an effective and efficient program that complies with all federal and
state laws, regulations, and directives, including the directive to
hire sufficient staff.
(c) The director shall submit any forms intended for use in court
proceedings to the Judicial Council for approval at least six months
prior to the implementation of the use of the forms.
(d) In adopting the forms, policies, and procedures, the director
shall consult with the California Family Support Council, the
California State Association of Counties, labor organizations,
custodial and noncustodial parent advocates, child support
commissioners, family law facilitators, and the appropriate
committees of the Legislature.
(e) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Administrative
Procedure Act, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1
of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, through December 31,
2007, the department may implement the applicable provisions of this
division through child support services letters or similar
instructions from the director.
The department shall adopt regulations implementing the forms,
policies, and procedures established pursuant to this section. The
director may delay implementation of any of these regulations in any
county for any time as the director deems necessary for the smooth
transition and efficient operation of a local child support agency,
but implementation shall not be delayed beyond the time at which the
transition to the new county department of child support services is
completed. The department may adopt regulations to implement this
division in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The
adoption of any emergency regulation filed with the Office of
Administrative Law on or before December 31, 2007, shall be deemed to
be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the
public peace, health, and safety or general welfare. These emergency
regulations shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the amendments to
paragraph (1) of this subdivision made by Assembly Bill 3032 of the
2001-02 Regular Session shall be retroactive to June 30, 2002.
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