ORS collects support when children are placed in the care or custody of the state. State agencies that take these placements include the Division of Juvenile Justice Services, the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), or another division of the Department of Human Services. 

When a child is placed in state care, the law requires that the support that we collect goes to reimburse the state for the costs of caring for the child.

Our processes for children in care are similar to other child support cases. In both situations we follow state and federal laws to locate parents, establish financial and medical support orders, and collect the required support.

If your child is placed in state care or custody, the Juvenile Court will order you to cooperate with ORS.

To start the process, call our Children in Care team at 801-536-8770.

An ORS intake agent will ask you for the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • The name of the child or children in state care
  • The names of any other children you have
  • Whether you have other orders for child support or children in care
  • Your employer’s name and your income
  • Your health and dental insurance information

We will use this information to open a case. 

If you already have a child support for the child in care, ORS will collect that support. If you do not already a child support order, we will work to set one.

What Should You Do If Your Child Is Placed in State Care?

Retained Support

During the process of changing an existing child support case to a child in care case, we may unintentionally send payments to the custodial parent. We call these payments “retained support” because the money belongs to the state instead of to the parent.

If this happens to you, contact us as soon as possible. This money must be returned to ORS within 30 days to avoid a separate case being opened to collect the misdirected payment.

The Differences between Children in Care and Other Child Support Cases

Payments and Where the Child Is Placed on the First of the Month

Where the child is legally placed on the first day of the month determines who receives the child support for that month.

If the child is placed with the state on the first of the month, the support for that month will belong to the state. 

If the child is not placed with the state on the first of the month, the support for that month will not belong to the state 

Remember: “the first day of the month” means only that first day. If a child leaves placement with the state on the second day of the month, any child support due for that month will still belong to the state.

Ways to Lower the Amount of Child Support Owed to the State

In children in care cases, parents who need to set up a new child support order can benefit from working with ORS quickly and fully. In fact, early and timely cooperation with ORS can take as much as 2 months off the amount of child support owed to the state.

Temporary and trial placements back in the home may also lower the amount of child support you owe to the state. These placements must last at least 7 consecutive days. DCFS caseworkers will need to confirm the placement for us first. 

Contact our Children in Care team at 801-536-8770 for more information.

Medical Support in Child in Care Cases

Your child may receive a Medicaid card while in state custody. 

Because Medicaid is considered to be a last resort for medical payments, parents will still need to provide insurance coverage if they can do that at a reasonable cost.

Asking for a Good Cause Deferral or Waiver for Child Support

Sometimes paying support for a child in care can put an unfair burden on someone or make it harder to reunify a child with their family. 

If that sounds like your situation, contact your caseworker with the agency that your child is placed with. These agencies include the Division of Juvenile Justice Services, the Division of Child and Family Services, or another division of the Department of Human Services

In very limited circumstances, that agency may approve a deferral or waiver of child support collection due to good cause.

If the agency does approve your request, they will notify us. We will then stop collecting support on behalf of that agency while the child is in state care.