In the Community…

Santa Clara County/Bay Area

The Santa Clara Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) has been working with fellow Bay Area local child support agencies (LCSAs) to edit their Payment Option videos and give them a consistent look and feel so all Bay Area LCSAs can use them. The team just finished the first two video conversions as part of the Bay Area Regional Collaboration.

Visit Santa Clara DCSS’ YouTube channel by clicking on the following link to view the two newest Bay Area Child Support Services videos. One is for payments by phone and the other is for payments online: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHfdnJs6EIFZBR3b41SgHzg

These videos are also being produced in Spanish. Bay Area LCSAs are working to develop more videos that can be used across the region. As part of this effort, the Bay Area LCSAs also developed a new website/landing page for their collaborative effort, www.bayareachildsupport.net.

Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department (CSSD) recently created a new video on the Compromise of Arrears Program. It’s been shared by other Los Angeles county departments and garnered more than 100 views in the first week it was posted. Watch the video here:

Madera County

On January 4, the Madera County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) held an “Amnesty Day” where parents who had been issued bench warrants from the court due to failure to pay child support could come and get risk-free help in resolving their child support issues. Madera County DCSS offered free help for parents facing legal issues, which was well-received by the community.

To get the public to trust the department’s efforts and encourage them to come to the courthouse voluntarily the department engaged in a public outreach campaign. The campaign included a poster, a radio public service announcement, social media outreach, and a huge help from Univision who interviewed the department several times. The Madera Tribune even had a front page article about the event and the services provided by Madera County DCSS.

One parent who attended said her friend tagged her in a social media post, so she came out to the event and is now working with the Workforce Development team to find training or employment. Another parent made a payment after not making any payments in over a year.

“My staff didn’t anticipate more than a handful of people, in total we cleared a total of 76 (bench warrants) from the original list provided by our Sheriff,” Sarah Honeycutt, Director of Madera County DCSS said. “We had so many great partners in this event I have to say I am proud of the hard work my staff, courts, public defender’s office, translators did to help make our event a success.”

Madera County DCSS will be following up with all of the people who attended to encourage them to stay committed to staying on track. They’ll be offering drivers’ license releases if the parents follow through with the commitments made at the event.

They hope to do the same event next year.

Humboldt/Yolo Counties

As of January 1, 2018, the cultivation, distribution and sale of cannabis for recreational purposes became legal in California. Although not every county will participate, there is an opportunity for proactive outreach as the licensing process can be delayed or denied due to unpaid child support.

Humboldt County, as well as Yolo and several other counties, have already been doing an excellent job of communicating with their local cannabis growers and distributors. Both counties have generously shared signage, forms and publications to assist others in creating their own campaigns; these are available in the Marketing and Outreach Forum on CA Child Support Central. We here at CA DCSS have begun working with the three licensing entities – Public Health, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the new Bureau of Cannabis Control – on messaging at the state level.

Helping people overcome this hurdle before their business plans are thwarted will go a long way toward positioning Child Support as a resource, and is in everyone’s best interest. Good luck and please share your own efforts as we all move forward into this new arena.