Bay Area Region Child Support Collaborative Joins Forces to Assist Employers

By: Kristy Hartmann, CA DCSS

On August 27, 2019, the Bay Area Region Child Support Collaborative (BARCS) held an Employer Workshop for employers to get the latest information and updates about their roles in the child support process. BARCS is a collaboration of several Bay Area county child support agencies, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Benito/Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. This year’s effort marked the third annual BARCS employer workshop and was led by Shane Rogge, Community and Customer Relations Supervisor for Alameda County. The goals of the workshop were to improve partnerships with employers in the respective counties by educating employers about their responsibilities, providing them with tools to make processing deductions easier, and informing them of ways to streamline the collection of child support. The free two-hour workshop took place at the California Endowment Center for Healthy Communities in Oakland, California. Participants could also join the workshop via simulcast events at Sonoma, San Mateo, and Contra Costa County child support locations, or via web conference on a computer or mobile device. Conference attendance was an impressive 142 attendees!

Director of Alameda County Department of Child Support Services Phyllis Nance and Director of Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services Jennifer Traumann welcomed employers to the event and provided a closing to thank employers for their contributions to children and families. The Master of Ceremonies, Alameda County Child Support Supervisor Brendan Hofmann, along with staff from Alameda and Contra Costa counties, educated attendees about processing Income Withholding Orders (IWOs), reporting new hires, completing employer verifications, processing health insurance and National Medical Support Notices, issuing bonus and lump sum payments, remitting payments to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU), prioritizing deductions and more, and offered resources to stay connected to the child support program. Employers were reminded of how critical their role was for California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS), local child support agencies, and the SDU, and how their efforts truly made a difference.

Employers are the primary source in the collection process and provide access to health insurance for employees and their families. California employers helped collect $2.5 billion in child support in 2018 and over 70% was collected through IWOs.

CA DCSS Employer Outreach Coordinator Angela Jones said, “This collaboration between the Bay Area child support agencies was a successful and well-organized event. Everyone was so knowledgeable, and it was great to be able to provide such detailed information and consistent statewide messaging, and to continue to build partnerships with the employers.”

Thank you to all the directors and presenters and special thanks to the expert panel: Napa County DCSS Director Janet Nottley, Supervisor of San Mateo County DCSS Amrit Singh, and CA DCSS Employer Outreach Coordinator Angela Jones for their efforts to making the workshop a success.