Custodial Parties/Dependents on Public Assistance

I am applying for assistance under the Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance Program (TEA) through the Department of Health and Human Services. Am I required to seek child support from the noncustodial parent for my child/children? 

Yes, federal and State law requires that you cooperate with OCSE to establish paternity and a court order for support, if needed, and to enforce the established support order or an existing court order for support as applicable.

Why are child support payments collected by OCSE retained by the State instead of going to the family when the custodial parent receives public assistance through TEA? 

By accepting cash payments from the Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance Program (TEA), the custodial party agrees to repay the State and federal government for the money paid to the family. OCSE retains child support payments collected in an amount equal to the amount paid to the family through the TEA grant. Child support collections in excess of the grant are paid to the family.