Who may request information from the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)?

In child support cases, authorization to request information from the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) is limited to State IV-D agencies or agents/attorneys that represent those agencies to collect child and spousal support; certain courts or agents of the court; and, with limitations, State agencies that administer child welfare or foster care programs. In parental kidnapping, child custody, or visitation cases, certain agents and attorneys of the State or the court may request information from the FPLS. All requests for information from the FPLS must go through a State Parent Locator Service (SPLS).

Is the information in the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) databases secure?

Federal law requires all States to protect the confidential information maintained by State IV-D agencies. At the Federal level, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established and implemented safeguards for the FPLS that:

•Ensure the security, accuracy, and completeness of information.
•Restrict access to confidential information to authorized persons for authorized purposes.
•Require States to implement policies and procedures to ensure the integrity, accuracy, and completeness of data in their automated systems, and to prevent unauthorized use or disclosure of information related to the establishment or enforcement of child support.

How do federal agencies report their new hire data?

Federal agencies are required to report new hire and quarterly wage information directly to the National Directory of New Hire (NDNH) rather than go through state agencies. Federal agencies electronically transmit records for each newly hired employee to the NDNH within 20 days of the hire date or by two monthly transmissions.

Is anyone exempt from being reported to the National Directory of New Hire?

Federal agencies that are classified in nature may choose not to report to the National Directory of New Hire (NDNH) certain individuals performing intelligence or counter-intelligence functions, if reporting could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an investigation or intelligence mission. The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) may still request employment information for a specific non-custodial parent directly from these agencies, at a state’s request.

Why are social security numbers important to the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)?

Social Security Numbers (SSN) are key to the information stored in the FPLS. All SSNs received through new hire, quarterly wage and unemployment insurance reporting are verified through the Social Security Administration before being placed on the National Directory of New Hire (NDNH). Records containing unverified SSNs are not posted to the NDNH. Without a valid SSN, information regarding a participant cannot be obtained nor passed to another state.

How do states request locate information from these external locate sources?

States send their locate requests through the Federal Case Registry (FCR) to the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) to obtain specific kinds of locate information not provided automatically through NDNH/FCR matching. States can request which sources the FPLS should check for information. The Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) will process the requests and return information directly to the requesting state.

Why are non IV-D child support agency orders included in the Federal Case Registry?

Traditionally, the issuing court has maintained support orders in private cases. Effective October 1, 1998, all support orders issued or modified must be reported to the State Case Registry (SCR). Non IV-D order information is included to assist states in processing interstate cases. The information will assist in locating parents across state lines by acting as a “pointer system” to other states, and helping states determine legal jurisdiction. Maintaining information about non IV-D court orders also allows for faster service, should there be a request for full child support services through a state IV-D child support office.