By: Nicole Darracq, CA DCSS
On November 7, the San Joaquin Family Resource and Referral Center hosted their 35th Annual “Action on Behalf of Children” (ABC) awards ceremony at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in Stockton, California. Created in 1988 by Joan Richards, founder of the Family Resource and Referral Center, and several community members, the ABC Awards recognize those outstanding members of the community that are doing more than just ‘the average’ for children in their region.
At the gala event, the San Joaquin County Department of Child Support Services was honored as the 2019 Public Agency recipient. San Joaquin County DCSS Director Lori Cruz and her team were cited for their positive presence in the community and for the partnerships they have created with other community-based organizations. The Block Party, created as a Child Support Awareness Month campaign event and now in its third year, was specifically praised for connecting families with information and resources, and the Family Involvement Team was also called out for its excellent work in providing holistic, collaborative services to all child support customers.
San Joaquin County DCSS held 136 outreach events over the last year, with staff participating in every no-cost community event to raise awareness and debunk myths about the child support process. In the remarks during the award presentation, it was noted that these outreach efforts have increased San Joaquin County’s applications for services from never-assisted customers by 23%. Award presenters also noted Director Cruz’ efforts towards the process that ultimately resulted in the funding increases awarded to child support agencies statewide in the 2019- 2020 budget.
Congratulations to San Joaquin County DCSS on this well-deserved honor.