Commerce – The Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department (CSSD) has been recognized with two Children & Youth Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
One of the honors awarded was for CSSD’s strategic approach to qualified domestic relations orders. This unique program leverages CSSD resources to strategically identify cases where noncustodial parents who are paying support—and possess defined contribution and defined benefit plan accounts like 401ks—can use those contributions to pay current and past due child support. Not only has this program greatly assisted custodial parents and children by immediately bringing financial support to the household, but noncustodial parents also benefit since they can pay off their arrears or at least their principal balance, which reduces the accrual of monthly interest. Between 2018 and 2022, CSSD collected over $20,707,168 as a result of this program, with an average yearly collection of $4,141,433.60. These collections have led to payment in full on many cases, impacting children’s lives by bringing support into the household.
The second NACo Achievement award recognized CSSD’s new child support segmentation tool, which allows case managers to work their cases in a structured way. The tool has been instrumental in helping case managers focus on their caseload to more efficiently and consistently work all their cases, resulting in better case work and an improved customer experience for case participants, and providing substantial financial stability for children. In fact, since the employment of the tool, CSSD has experienced a 5% increase in the number of cases fully paying their child support obligation and a 19% decrease in the number of cases only partially paying the child support obligation.
“I am really excited and very proud of everyone who works in our department and their focus on serving our community,” said CSSD Director Terrie Hardy.
Each year, NACo’s Achievement Awards are given in 18 categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and more. Launched in 1970, the program is designed to recognize innovation in county government. Each nominated program is judged on its own merits and not against other applications.
“The Achievement Awards demonstrate excellence in county government and the commitment to serve our residents every day,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and collaborative efforts we have seen in over 50 years of presenting these awards.” For more information about NACo’s Achievement Awards, click here.