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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release June 18, 1996

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 new-hire 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

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