XI. S. Support

Effective 10/1/80 - Updated 2002

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XI. S. Support

Effective 10/1/80 - Updated 2002

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Whenever a child is in the custody of the Department, there are expenses for his care.  Unless parental rights are terminated, parents have a duty to their children and the taxpayers to provide support, on either a voluntary or court ordered basis, within their resources.  Moreover, experience has shown that parents who support their children tend to be more active in planning for them.


Support may come directly from parents or from other sources for which the parents or children may be eligible.


All resources are to be explored as part of the social and financial plan for the child in care.



Title 22, MRSA, §4023 (6) (short term emergency care) and §4036(1)(g) (dispositions for protective orders) make provision for support of the child by his parents.



1.Parents and custodians will be informed that the Department will be requesting a support order because:
a.The parent retains certain rights (see Family Reunification, Section VII) and has an obligation to support his child.
b.Experience has demonstrated that meeting a support order encourages parental involvement.
c.Should termination of parental rights be considered later, the amount and duration of support may be relevant, along with the parent’s ability to care for and protect the child, and the child’s best interest.


2.All requests for court action which include requests for change of custody will include a request for support by all parents and custodians unless:
a.A putative parent’s legal rights and responsibilities are not established by the court.
b.A parent or custodian makes a formal declaration by use of the affidavit form that he has no parental interest in the child, and the court so rules.
c.Legal rights and responsibilities of the parent or custodian are terminated.


3.At the disposition phase, the support order request will be commensurate with the family’s financial circumstances.  If the family will experience a financial loss by loss of custody, and/or is experiencing financial hardship, the request may b for a very minimum amount.



1.At the time a petition is served on the parents, a financial affidavit form will accompany the petition.


2. If custody to the Department is sought, support will be requested in the petition.
a.Name of person(s) requested or ordered to support.
b.Commensurate with ability to pay.
c.Time frame (e.g., weekly).
d.If not ordered, cross out support section to clarify.


3.Explain payment procedures to parent(s), preferably in discussion, followed by letter:
a.Check payable to "Treasurer, State of Maine."
b."Support for Children, Name and Case Number" written on check.
c.Sent directly to the Department of Human Services cashier.


4.Referrals to Support, Enforcement and Location Unit (SELU) will not o be made until working agreement has been developed between Bureau of Social Welfare and Bureau of Resource Development.


5.Investigate other possible resources for support, and complete proper forms for collection.  (See APS 31 regarding Benefit Payments.)
a.Social Security
b.Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
c.Veterans Administration (VA)
d.Aid to Families with Dependent Children - Foster Care (AFDC-FC)
e.Railroad Retirement
f.Civil Service, Federal or State
g.Parent’s health insurance


6.Complete support information on Legal Routing Form (SWSS-014).


7.A copy of the SWSS-014 (with support information) or other format which may be developed in case recording policy, will be placed in the case record for reference and follow-up by substitute care worker.