CSEC Code of Ethics
For members of the Child Support Enforcement Council (CSEC)
CSEC believes that its members should abide by a strong code of ethical conduct. A major goal of CSEC is to ensure that clients using private enforcement agencies receive the highest level of professional conduct and assistance.
CSEC adopted it’s code of ethical conduct shortly after it was founded in 2001.
Members shall dedicate themselves to ensuring that private child support enforcement agencies establish, maintain and abide by the highest level of professionalism in their relations with parents, government agencies and colleagues.
ARTICLE 1 – RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENTS
1.1. Members shall: (a) treat clients with respect and courtesy; (b) provide services to clients in a timely and professional manner; and (c) respond to all client complaints or concerns and attempt to achieve fair, reasonable and timely resolution of such complaints.
1.2. Members shall: (a) be financially solvent at all times; (b) maintain accurate records of all child support collections made on behalf of, and disbursed to, a client; (c) maintain client trust accounts sufficient to provide complete payment of all funds owed to its clients; and (d) make timely distribution of all funds owed to a client.
1.3. Members shall: (a) use only written contracts with clients; (b) ensure that contracts use language that should reasonably permit a client to understand all of the rights and duties of both the Member and the client; (c) promptly provide a client with a copy of the executed contract upon request; and (d) include in the contract with a client a description of all fees and charges to the client for providing services and whether such fees shall be billed to and paid directly by the client or deducted from child support payments received on behalf of the client.
1.4. Members shall: (a) maintain records which accurately reflect all actions taken in a client’s case; (b) safeguard client records, documents and files in a manner reasonably expected to prevent intentional or accidental disclosure of confidential client information; and (c) timely inform clients of all legal orders, hearings and notices intended for the client and coming to the member’s address on behalf of the client.
ARTICLE 2 – RELATIONSHIP WITH NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS
2.1. Members shall not intentionally use or threaten to use violence or other criminal or illegal means to cause harm to any person or property in enforcing a child support obligation.
2.2. Members shall not claim legal authority to engage in an enforcement activity when the member does not have such legal authority.
2.3. Members shall not falsely identify themselves as government entities.
ARTICLE 3 – RELATIONSHIP WITH GOVERNMENT
3.1. Members shall maintain open communication with government agencies in those jurisdictions in which they offer or provide services.
3.2. Members shall respond to reasonable, appropriate requests by government agencies to modify operating procedures to better coordinate services offered by the public and private sectors.
3.3. Members shall work cooperatively to develop industry-standard forms and requests for submission to government agencies.
ARTICLE 4 – RELATIONSHIP WITH COLLEAGUES
4.1. Members shall not publicly disparage any private child support enforcement agency. This shall in no way be construed to act as a restraint on CSEC’s ability, as a body, to invoke disciplinary action against a member.
4.2. Members shall not engage in any activity which could reasonably cause a potential client to confuse one member’s agency with another member’s agency. This shall in no way be construed to act as a restriction on free trade or competition.
4.3. Members shall abide by this Code of Conduct and make all reasonable efforts to ensure that its employees and agents have read, understand and agree to abide by all provisions of this Code of Ethical Conduct.
ARTICLE 5 – COMPLAINTS
5.1.Complaints relating to any private child support enforcement agency (“PCSEA”), regardless of membership, may be directed to the Chair of the CSEC Ethics Committee (“Chair”) who shall notify the PCSEA in question of the complaint. If the complaint is against a member, the Chair shall require proof that reasonable efforts have been taken to resolve the complaint.