PATERNITY ESTABLISHMENT PERCENTAGE (PEP) ISSUES
Federal regulations require states to achieve a PEP of 90
percent or an increase of two percent over the previous year’s
performance level. In state fiscal year 2003 (FY03), the Family Support
Division (FSD) achieved a PEP of 85.5 percent. Therefore, a PEP of 87.5
percent is needed in state fiscal year 2004 (FY04).
The Family Support Division (FSD) determined our projected PEP for FY04 currently falls below the required level. Failure to reach the required level will result in a corrective action year. States that fail to achieve the required performance levels during a corrective action year are subject to penalties, which are assessed against the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds.
Although FSD is not under the threat of sanction this year, we must be vigilant in reaching and maintaining a 90 percent or better PEP. Maintaining an acceptable PEP is an ongoing effort, and FSD is calling upon staff to assist with special — as well as ongoing — efforts to meet paternity establishment goals. The efforts of both income maintenance (IM) and child support enforcement (CSE) staff are needed.
Missouri’s PEP is based on paternities established statewide (i.e., for children receiving IV–D services and children not receiving IV–D services). The equation to determine the statewide PEP is as follows:
For federal reporting purposes, paternity means the legal establishment of fatherhood by administrative order, judicial order or voluntary acknowledgment. This means a child for whom only a presumption of paternity is established cannot be counted in the statewide PEP. (Ref: CSE Procedural Manual , Section IX, Chapter 1, III., for definitions of presumed father and legal father)
The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) reported a count of 9,475 paternity establishments between July 1 and December 30, 2003: 6,005 from in–hospital completion of the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity (VS–465); 1,404 from VS–465s completed by parents on their own or with FSD’s assistance; and 2,066 from court and administrative orders. The total number of children born out–of–wedlock in the state during FY03 was 27,041. Using PEP calculations to make an estimate at the six–month point, FSD needs 14,181 additional paternity establishments by June 30, 2004.
Since the statewide PEP numbers are provided by DHSS, Bureau of Vital Records (BVR), paternity orders and VS–465s not filed with BVR are not counted in our statewide PEP. A comparison of the CSE Report with the BVR numbers indicates a significant number of paternity establishments are not reflected in the BVR count.
To ensure all appropriate paternity establishments are counted in our PEP, Policy Development Unit (PDU) staff recently contacted FSD CSE offices to obtain copies of production reports. Compliance Review Section (CRS) and PDU staff will review the production reports to identify children for whom paternity has been legally established but no order or VS–465 has been filed with BVR. Upon identifying such children, PDU staff will ask for assistance from CSE and circuit clerk staff to ensure VS–465s and certified copies of paternity orders are filed with BVR. Again this year, FSD will be asking the Office of State Courts Administrator to work with circuit clerks on this project. Individual CSE offices may receive specific feedback and/or requests for information on cases reviewed by CRS and PDU. Each office manager has been asked to delegate one individual in his/her office to receive and respond to these communications.
CSE staff will immediately implement the following measures to improve FSD’s PEP performance:
IM staff can contribute to an increase in the PEP by ensuring the VS–465 is offered to appropriate parents. Staff can determine if the father is on the Missouri–born child’s birth record by viewing IBTH, the birth name inquiry screen in the Department of Social Services Common Area.
IM staff have a unique opportunity to assist in the completion of the VS–465 as they may meet with intact families in addition to the single parents. Unmarried parents who live in the same household may welcome the opportunity to establish legal paternity for their child.
IM staff may refer to Income Maintenance Manual sites 0105.025.15.05 and 0205.050.25.05, which address the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity and the importance of establishing the father’s relationship.
BVR will only accept VS–465s with a 7–99 or 11–01
Staff should refer to IM–48 4/17/02
FSD staff should direct their questions/comments to their immediate
supervisors. Others may contact John R. Mier, Policy Development Unit,
Family Support Division, PO Box 2320, Jefferson City, MO 65102–2320
[Telephone: (573) 751–7079; e–mail: