ERICSA’s roots go back to 1947 when the State of New York decided to address the problem of parents evading child support enforcement by moving away from the state that issued the support order. New York enacted legislation that permitted support proceedings between states with substantially similar or reciprocal laws, including allowing testimony by transcripts that did not require the petitioner’s physical presence. This legislation was the precursor of the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA), first drafted and approved by the Uniform Law Commissioners in 1950. States in New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions then began to hold annual meetings to provide information on the best use of the uniform act and state laws and regulations. In 1964 the initial rules of the “Northeastern Regional Conference on URESA” were approved to support a national effort to fully implement URESA. In 1971 that membership adopted a resolution establishing “The Eastern Regional Conference on URESA” to include all states and territories east of the Mississippi River and the District of Columbia. The bylaws were amended in May 1987 to change the name to “Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association” and expand member states to those bordering on and east of Mississippi River and the state of Texas.
ERICSA has worked throughout its history to develop training and support policy to ensure that children get financial support from both parents. We focus on case management support, best practices, and legal education for front-line workers, attorneys, and judicial officers who work daily with families, especially in the area of intergovernmental child support. ERICSA annual conferences bring together child support professionals, advocates, state and federal legislators and staff, members of the legal community, and professionals from other federal or state social service programs to discuss topics such as the impact of child support on reducing child poverty and the relationship of multiple governmental programs serving children. ERICSA is proud that conference participants have time to make connections with other child support professionals that they can use “back home” to successfully resolve issues in complex intergovernmental cases.
In like manner, ERICSA is proud to have been a key player in every major child support reform since 1975 and the creation of the federal state child support program (Title IV-D of the Social Security Act). ERICSA leadership testified before Congress in support of the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984 and the Family Support Act of 1988. ERICSA, as well as its individual members, played key roles in the U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support and in the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which implemented the Commission’s recommendations. ERICSA representatives have also served as official members of federal work groups. Members of ERICSA were involved in every revision of URESA and were key to the drafting of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) and subsequent amendments. ERICSA members also participated in the drafting of the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA). As international family support became a needed focus, ERICSA members were official delegates to the Hague Conference whose work culminated in the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.
ERICSA looks forward to a rich future building on its history of significant contributions to child support law, policy, practice, and training.
ERICSA, April 7, 2022, Ad Hoc subcommittee under Technology Committee, Patty Wood, Chair