Child Support Awareness Month 2018 is Here!

Since the beginning of the year, the California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS) has been working diligently to create, produce and launch this year’s Child Support Awareness Month (CSAM) campaign. The work began with a survey in which local child support agency employees submitted different taglines to inspire an overall campaign concept. After receiving numerous creative ideas, all the counties and CA DCSS staff voted for their favorite. The creator of this years’ CSAM campaign concept was Bryanna Fornerod, Outreach Specialist at San Diego County DCSS who suggested: “They don’t need perfect, they just need you!”

The CA DCSS Office of Communications and Public Affairs (OCPA) is very proud of this year’s campaign production, which features the same images and characters throughout all the materials, producing a very consistent, professional look and feel. In the past, stock photography and stock video footage were used, presenting two problems: it forced the team to cobble together unrelated images to tell a story, and it provided mostly stereotypical images that did not reflect California’s diversity. This year, the team used CA DCSS employees and family friends to create three “stories” completely in-house for “They Don’t Need Perfect, They Just Need You”: a dad so busy playing with his kids that he burns the hot dogs, a mom embarrassing her teenage son with her lousy basketball form, and a dad getting fingernail polish just about everywhere EXCEPT his daughter’s fingers. These “imperfect” parents are then shown interacting positively with child support caseworkers, demonstrating the final message: “We Can Help.” Still images were used for the posters and video footage from the same shoots was edited together to create the video public service announcements (PSAs). Thanks to CA DCSS Videographer Kristeena Alder’s cousin Leon, his niece and nephews and thank you to CA DCSS Public Inquiry Response Team member Mary Hanger and her friend Michelle and Michelle’s son for portraying the barbecue and basketball parents, to Program Analyst Nick Flores and his niece for the nail polish sequence, and kudos to CA DCSS Staff Services Manager Jennifer Younger, Program Analysts Rafael Lopez and Mary Hanger for their incredibly portrayals of kind and wonderful Child Support employees!

This year’s CSAM posters were printed in seven languages and are already delivered, and all the CSAM materials – posters, website buttons and banners, radio ads and video PSAs – are available for download on California Child Support Central, the internal employee resource site. CSAM pages on the CA DCSS public website are live:, boasting a calendar of all the county events and a media page with logos, press releases and PSAs for publication.

Every single individual who contributed to this year’s campaign – from the brain stormers around the state dreaming up good messaging, to the models and photographers, copywriters and story pitchers, back out to those coordinating outreach events, promoting our message and interacting with our customers – should be very proud of the job we all delivered together for Child Support Awareness Month 2018.