Forty-five years is an exciting milestone for the child support program. We've seen many changes over the years. For example, tribal child support programs now outnumber our states and territories. And it’s no surprise that technology has caused a few changes:
- Paper checks have become outdated, with 71.7% of child support payments in FY 2019 received through electronic funds transfer.
- Communicating with customers has shifted from in-person to email, text, and chat
- Checking the status of an intergovernmental case happens in seconds through QUICK instead of by mail or a phone call.
- No more wandering the office looking for a lost paper file as more programs use electronic case files.
But one thing has remained constant throughout these 45 years. The individuals serving the child support program are passionate about the work they do to support families.
In August, we celebrated Child Support Awareness Month. This year’s celebrations looked a bit different. Instead of crowds gathering for backpack drives or community events, in the latest Child Support Report you’ll read stories about how our program has adapted to the impacts of COVID-19 to continue serving families during the pandemic. States and tribes demonstrate their resilience as they shift their approaches to outreach and service delivery. I hope that these creative and critical solutions inspire you.
Also in this issue, we celebrate September’s Grandparents Day and the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. We’re also featuring you — our Unsung Heroes from across the country. You have not only dedicated a career to supporting child support parents but also demonstrated devotion to your families and compassion for your communities during the last few months.
Your tireless commitment to improving the lives of families and those around you makes this more than just a job. When I came to the child support program, I found a group of great people with a sincere passion for serving families. Thank you for the daily inspiration.
Melissa Johnson, OCSE Director of Regional Operations
This blog gives the commissioner a forum to communicate directly with child support professionals and other stakeholders about relevant topics. The Commissioner’s Voice is reprinted from the August - September 2020 Child Support Report newsletter (PDF).