Hold the reconciliation meeting right away. If the client is in the office, conduct the meeting then. If the client is not in the office, the reconciliation meeting may be completed by telephone, if both parties agree. If telephone reconciliation is unsuccessful, schedule a face-to-face meeting.
If the client is not in the office and a telephone reconciliation is inappropriate, send the client a notice of the reconciliation meeting. Allow a reasonable amount of time for mail delivery when scheduling the meeting.
If the client does not appear for the reconciliation meeting and does not contact the worker to reschedule the meeting or to claim valid reason or good cause for failure to comply, impose a sanction.
If the client appears for the reconciliation meeting, determine whether a valid reason or good cause exists for the client's failure to comply. Attempt to resolve problems or disputes about the client's performance.
Discuss the issue(s) with the client (or their representative) and try to come to an agreement.
Discuss the CSE requirement, to make certain it is appropriate. If not, correct the record and do not impose a sanction.
If the client responds and claims good cause, they are exempt from cooperation. If they had a valid reason, give the client another chance to comply, and take no negative action.
When the client responds and does not show a valid reason or claim good cause, or the dispute has not been resolved, immediately conduct mediation.
When reconciliation is not the result of the client failing to comply, immediately conduct mediation.
A neutral party acts as a mediator if:
- the worker and client cannot agree on the plan, or
- the worker and client cannot agree on what the client must do to show compliance with requirements.
The neutral person can be a supervisor, an appeals coordinator, or other staff person who has not had a direct role in the client's child support case.
Attempt to have the mediator available at the time of the reconciliation meeting so mediation can occur immediately, if necessary. Schedule a separate meeting with the mediator if the mediator is unavailable. Give the client a written notice of the scheduled meeting with the mediator.
The mediator makes the final decision based on policy and available information. Write up the reconciliation meeting and decision in the case record.