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The federal child support program was established in 1975 under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. It functions in all states and several tribes and territories, through the state/county Social Services Department, Attorney General’s Office, or Department of Revenue. Most states work with prosecuting attorneys, other law enforcement agencies, and officials of family or domestic relations courts to carry out the program at the local level. American Indian and Native American tribes, too, can operate child support programs in the context of their cultures and traditions with federal funding.
State and tribal child support programs locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, establish and enforce support orders, modify orders when appropriate, collect and distribute child support payments, and refer parents to other services. While programs vary from state to state, their services are available to all parents who need them.