California’s Orange County Child Support Services uses SAS Analytics to predict who is at high risk of failing to pay support and identify the factors that could get the parent into compliance. With 69,000 active child support cases annually, an enormous amount of data is generated. Previously caseworkers tried to figure out how to help parents make payments, but data was difficult to access.
With analytics, the agency gathers information about the parent, analyzes it and assigns an iScore, which details information concerning ability to pay and what factors might encourage full or timely payments. Parents with significant issues — unemployment, criminal records or homelessness — receive a "seedling" iScore classification that lets caseworkers know that this parent needs more time and help to be able to pay. Others are classified as "saplings" or "young trees" if they have one deficit that could make a significant difference in their ability to pay. Caseworkers can review iScore with a customer, then collaboratively design an earnings improvement plan that meets the customer’s needs, interests and skills.
Sixty caseworkers use the system daily to help parents in various ways. For example, a caseworker was prompted to find additional government benefits for a disabled parent that helped him pay $100 a month in child support.