Child Support Services (2600B)

Program Outcome Statement

Ensure the reliability of child support payments to families in need by collaborating with both parents to establish realistic orders so that children will have a better chance to succeed in the world.

Program Services

  • Establish paternity, child and medical support orders
  • Modification of existing support orders
  • Financial tracking of collections and disbursements
  • Automated locate and enforcement services within the United States and some foreign countries
  • Convenient payment options
  • Highly skilled staff who collaborate with both parents in support of children's well being

Overview

San Mateo County Department of Child Support Services is responsible for administering program services that align with the mission of the California Child Support Program. We strive to help both parents remove barriers and emphasize that children benefit when both parents are involved in their lives. A family's receipt of monthly child support has a profound effect on their daily lives. For many families, the difference between public assistance and self-sufficiency is the receipt of regular child support. The receipt of child support provides for life's necessities, including food, clothing, shelter and the participation of children in school activities. San Mateo County Department of Child Support Services currently serves the needs of more than 9000 children.
The following are major accomplishments in the current year:
  • Increased child support collections by two percent in FY 2016 to $31.3 million providing an average of $4,357 in financial support to approximately 7,200 families.
  • Successfully implemented an electronic mail and data imaging solution to improve case management time frames.
  • Implemented flexible child support payment options, MoneyGram and PayNearMe.
  • Answered over 29,000 customer service phone calls while maintaining an average wait time of 90 seconds.
  • Increased stipulated agreements by collaborating with both parents regarding their financial status.
  • Shortened time frames on payments to families by streamlining case management processes.
  • Received better than average ratings on customer service surveys.

Percent of Cases with Arrears Collection Exceeds Target

Percent of Current Support Collected Increasing

Cost Per Case Above Benchmark

FY 2016-17 Year-End Story Behind Performance

Percent of Cases with Arrears Collection
Performance in this measure has improved approximately one percent (1%) compared to the previous year. To continue this trend, the Department is establishing focused, bilingual caseloads where the case manager and customer communicate directly without the use of outside translation services. This approach enhances the individual's experience and works to build a trusting relationship between our agency and the people we serve. Customers can address questions directly and work to a better understanding of the child support process. Persons ordered to pay support are more likely to make payments and engage the agency when they are confronted with barriers or obstacles to meet that obligation.
Percent of Current Support Collected
The Department's now established Court Team provides direct, proactive services to families active in court proceedings and has helped to establish and modify child support orders more in line with an individual's ability to pay. Overall the Department has enhanced communication, shortened processing times and increased agreements during a challenging time. Customer service outcomes have improved with the development of the court team.
Cost Per Case Above Benchmark
The Department continues to remain high in cost per case compared to its benchmark. The Department continues to prioritize outreach to the public both as a means to reach customers outside of the agency walls as well as to educate residents who can benefit from a variety of services offered. Child Support Services has collaborated with several agencies but most recently developed cooperative relationships with the public libraries promoting library cards for children at our events while child support materials are distributed at library locations throughout the county. The Department is also currently promoting services along the Coast, working to educate residents in those areas and will expand our efforts to other areas of the County as we are able. Surveys provide valuable feedback used to improve services with the hope of providing better service to more eligible residents.

Future Priorities

  • Secure appropriate funding for the Department to sustain these necessary services in the long term.
  • Partner with the California Department of Child Support Services to make important infrastructure changes and improvements to the Child Support Enforcement System.
  • Develop technology, tools and resources that will allow for better communication with customers but avoid the need for a traditional "drop-in" to the office.
Author: Kim Cagno, Director of Child Support Services     Contact Email: smcdcss@smcgov.org     Date Created: 01-29-2016