An award winning agency, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), is once again exceeding federal standards.
Charged with enforcing, collecting and distributing child support payments, the department was again recognized for exceeding many federal standards for service and operations. This year, the Department exceeded all of their State required performance goals, most notably making record numbers in four of their five performance areas.
“Our funding has not increased, yet, we continue to see an increase in performance due to our innovation and determination to provide excellent service,” said Terrie Porter, Director of Child Support Services. “And, this means families are more self-sufficient, which benefits everyone.”
The federal government has a minimum percentage of child support that the program must ensure is paid by those who are mandated by law. One goal of the Department is to increase the percentage of child support paid versus what is due and has exceeded the federal minimum by 20 percent. The federal government also measures how cost effective a child support program is, based on how much money is spent on the program compared to how much money is collected. The County’s DCSS collected $3.44 for every dollar spent on the program, which is roughly 35 percent higher than the state’s required $2.25 minimum. Additionally, the program focused on missed child support payments, and last fiscal year, they collected on 64 percent of those missed payments, which is well above the minimum required.
In November 2013, a child support recipient contacted the Sacramento County DCSS Call Center as she had not received a payment in a year. The Call Center representative called the obligor’s employer in Hawaii, and learned during the conversation that the employer had been sending payments in error to Honolulu Child Support. The DCSS representative called the child support recipient and told her about the good news. She was very happy to be receiving a check for $3,423 right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
These efforts, combined with many others, have gotten the Department noticed by state officials, federal officials and even the Child Support Directors Association, who recognized them with several awards.
The department’s awards since 2009:
2009 – CSDA Outstanding Program Innovation Award winner
2010 – CSDA Outstanding Individual Achievement Award winner (Pedro Marenco)
2010 – Most Improved Very Large County (Recognized by State Department of Child Support Services)
2011 – CSDA Outstanding Child Support Program Award winner
2012 – CSAC Merit Award honoree
2013 – CSDA Outstanding Program Innovation Award winner
Writer: Kaitlin Bane, Communication and Media Intern