HOUSTON, Texas — Under the leadership of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the office’s Child Support Division received an Exemplary Performance Award from the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council (WICSEC). The award recognizes a state, regional, county or tribal program that consistently and comprehensively exemplifies excellence in child support enforcement. The award was accepted for Attorney General Abbott by Charles Smith, Deputy Attorney General at the WICSEC 2014 Annual Training Conference in San Diego, California.
“I am honored that the Texas child support program has been recognized for the exceptional service it provides to children and families,” Attorney General Abbott said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Child Support Division employees, child support collections continue to increase in the State of Texas. This success not only helps children all across the state, but it also ensures that parents financially support their children — not the taxpayers.”
Texas was singled out for recognition because of excellence in several areas including being ranked in first place nationally in total collections, collections per full-time employee and for being the most cost effective program in the nation.
“Greg Abbott as Attorney General has brought so much relief to the lives of children and families in this state,” said Breitbart Texas legal analyst Lana Shadwick. “His work ethic and desire to protect children and strengthen families has put him no. 1 over any other state official in this country that oversees the collection and distribution of child support. Courts that handle these cases have seen the very real change that he has bought to Texas families.” Shadwick has served Texas as an associate family court judge and a children’s protective services attorney.
The Texas program ranks first in the nation for collecting more than $3.6 billion in child support for the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013 according to the statement from the Attorney General’s Office. According to the Fiscal Year 2013 Preliminary Data Report released by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, Texas is first among 54 states, territories and districts for the amount of child support collected, the amount of child support collected per employee, and cost effectiveness.
Based on 2013 performance data, Texas leads the country in collections per child support employee. Texas’s collections per employee averaged $1.35 million, compared to the national average of $560,000 per employee. In addition, by collecting $11.61 for every dollar spent, the Texas program ranks first in cost effectiveness, and surpasses the national average of $5.47 by 212 percent.
This is the third time Abbott’s team has received top honors from WICSEC. The office previously received the award for outstanding program in 2007 and 2010.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.