Local Child Support Agencies Recognized for Improvement, Collaboration, and Excellence

By: Kayleen Carter

The California Child Support Program Statewide Director’s Meeting convened from March 27th through the 29th to cover a packed agenda of business and collaborative topics, culminating with the annual awards ceremony to recognize achievements by local child support agencies (LCSAs). There were three award categories: Innovation Award, Director’s Excellence Awards, and a one-time Courageous Leadership Award.

CSDA President & El Dorado County DCSS Director Don Semon receives an award from CA DCSS Chief Deputy Director Mark Beckley.

The individuals recognized for the Innovation Award hailed from three different counties and earned their award for collaborating to create bold new solutions that refined the Current Support Caseworker Branding Tool, with a direct effect on improving caseworker efficiencies and program performance.  The award was given to Adam Perry from El Dorado County, Frank Shipley from Alameda County and Phil Kryder from Santa Barbara County for their efforts on this project.

The Director’s Excellence Awards were presented to the LCSAs that increased the reliability of child support payments to families. The awards recognized improvement across three practice indicators since federal fiscal year 2014; distributed collections, current support paid at 75 percent or greater, and the percent of cases paid every month. LCSAs were awarded either bronze, silver, or gold awards.


Tehama, Contra Costa, Shasta, and Tulare counties earned the Bronze award for improvements averaging between 3 and 4.99 percent. The Silver award went to Central Sierra Region and Mateo County for improvements between 5 and 6.99 percent. The Gold award was given to Yolo and Placer counties whose improvements averaged 7 percent or greater.

LCSA Directors Carrie Topliffe, Janet Nottley, Jennifer Traumann, and Pamela Posehn presented Courageous Leadership Award for their dedication to the families of California during natural disasters.

There was also a special award in recognition of the exceptional leadership shown by the counties impacted by the numerous devastating fires and subsequent mudslides in October and December of last year.  The Directors receiving the award demonstrated their commitment to the children and families of California by keeping child support services available during the most destructive wildfires in California history and the tragic aftermath. Without their leadership, many families would have experienced additional financial burdens during these horrific events. Directors Jennifer Traumann from Sonoma, Pamela Posehn from Solano, Janet Nottley from Napa, and Carrie Topliffe from Santa Barbara received the Courageous Leadership Award in honor of their compassion and commitment in the face of adversity and natural disaster.

CA DCSS Chief Deputy Director Mark Beckley recognizes Santa Barbara DCSS Director Carrie Topliffe for her exemplary career in public service.

Also given special recognition was Carrie Topliffe, Director of Santa Barbara DCSS, who will be enjoying her new retirement after a remarkable career in leadership and community service.

Congratulations to all the award recipients for their dedication and hard work!