(a) In any case that is brought by the department of human services or its contractors, the Title IV-D child support office shall have no authority to represent the state of Tennessee on issues of custody or parental access. The fact that custody and parental access are sought in a petition that is filed by the department or its contractors to comply with this part, or that the court orders the department or its contractors to enter the finding of fact or the conclusions of law of the court relative to a custody or parental access determination in its order, shall not be deemed to make the department or its contractors responsible for presenting any evidence on these issues or to have any continuing duty to present evidence on these issues in any subsequent hearing. The department or its contractors shall have the duty to inform the individuals in the Title IV-D case that the department or its contractors will not provide legal assistance relative to custody or parental access and that the individual has a right to independent counsel for such representation.
(b) The department may apply for and utilize any federal grants for the purpose of implementing a pilot project for access and visitation programs. The department may contract with other persons or entities to establish the pilot projects that will be administered by the department; provided, that in establishing any such pilot project through contract, the department shall give preference to existing family preservation services programs, family resource centers, headstart programs and other established programs for children.
Acts 1997, ch. 477, § 1.
Compiler's Notes. Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, referred to in this section, is compiled in 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.