WHO WE ARE
A "section" of the county Court of Common Pleas; other sections are the Juvenile Probation Section and the Adult Probation & Parole Section.
Children’s Bureau is under the authority of the county commissioners.
WHO FUNDS US
While our employees are all county employees, the greater part of the funding for our program is federal by way of the state. Each state designs its own program for administering the federal funds to carry out the federal mandates for the child support program. In one state it might be administered by the Attorney General's Office; in another, the Department of Revenue. In Pennsylvania the program is administered by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Public Welfare.
While some states have chosen to keep the program at the state level, Pennsylvania chose to enter into Cooperative Agreements (contracts) between the Bureau and each of the 67 county courts, all of which had a long history of child support services.
The state, as required by the federal government, used federal funds to design, implement, and maintain a highly automated system for tracking and managing child support cases, linking some 2000 child support workers statewide. The system, known by the acronym PACSES for Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System, tracks 500,000 cases statewide, of which more than 10,000 are here in Westmoreland. Pennsylvania has been honored for its "Outstanding Program" by the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
Also, the state contracts with a private vendor to operate a central collection and distribution point for all child support payments. This operation is known by the acronym SCDU for State Collection and Disbursement Unit. The economy of scales created by contracting out to a private vendor has allowed us to turn around 99% of child support payments within 24 hours, while providing more services to payors, payees, and employers. Payors can have support payments drafted directly from their bank accounts on a scheduled basis. Payees can have those same monies then deposited directly into their bank accounts by SCDU. Employers have several ways of sending monies to SCDU tailored to the size of their businesses.
And finally, the state uses federal dollars to fund each county to perform specific services. That funding consists of partial reimbursement of the cost of delivering the services, and incentives for performance of those services. Westmoreland has one of the highest performance ratings in the state. Pennsylvania has been the top performer in both collection of current support and collection of support arrears among all states and territories for the past several years.
OUR PERFORMANCE RANKINGS