Managing Change in the Child Support Program
Technology advancements, family structure, and how we approach service delivery have changed significantly since we first opened our doors in the 1970s. See how child support agencies are managing change to meet the needs of families.
This is a compilation of articles from our Child Support Report newsletter. We’ve provided page numbers to indicate where to find the article in the issue.
Improve customer service
- Be clear: Ohio county simplifies communications to help parents understand program requirements and information requests. See the February 2014 article on page 3.
- Minimize bureaucratic language: Ohio program uses welcoming words to engage with customers. See the July 2013 article on page 6.
- Set realistic expectations: Setting affordable, "right-sized" orders is how Oklahoma helps customers and measures success. See the January 2016 article on page 3./span>
- Get parents on board: With the holistic "Healthy Families" approach, Oklahoma moves beyond performance measures and motivates parental participation. See the December 2015 article on page 5.
- Use a variety of strategies: Wyoming is expanding its outreach with better marketing and a creative approach to engage parents from the start. See the January 2017 article on page 4.
Change program culture
- Be transparent: Culture change doesn’t happen overnight, so Illinois managed change through conversations with all staff. See the October-November 2012 article on page 1.
- Frame the issue: Oklahoma’s goal is “healthy families”. See how they work with families with this overarching goal in mind and not with a cookie-cutter approach. See the October-November 2012 article on page 4.
- Get staff buy-in: NYC staff adopt a new philosophy for working with noncustodial parents. See the February 2013 article on page 1.
- Redirect the focus: Oklahoma changes the way they title their cases to focus on the children and not the absent parent. See the May 2015 article on page 1.
- Think positively: Approaching paternity establishment as an opportunity to help children in the long run is how Oklahoma improves customer outreach. See the February-March 2016 article on page 5.
Reengineer business processes
- Streamline the process and eliminate unnecessary steps: Georgia’s “Rapid Process Improvement” reduced redundancy and increased performance. See the October-November 2012 article on page 5.
- Analyze, design, and “overcommunicate”: Michigan analyzes workflows, defines inefficient processes, and finds opportunities for streamlining. See the June 2014 article on page 1.
Plan for change
- Plan and design your transition: North Carolina customers have one worker from case intake through closing. See the October 2013 article on page 1.
- Modernize technology, policies, and processes: Kentucky analyzes its child support system and makes a plan for in-house technology modernization. See the January 2014 article on page 3.
- Make your plan realistic: Tennessee identifies 5 elements to manage organizational change. See the May 2013 article on page 1.
- Help parents understand the program: Oklahoma increases cost effectiveness by focusing on communications to improve parental cooperation in collecting arrearages. See the April 2016 article on page 7.
- Give your successors a good start: Nebraska is preparing for a smooth transition and a changing workforce through succession planning. See the January 2017 article on page 3.
- Make the best of automation: Pennsylvania uses technology to process routine cases and redeploy staff to cases that require specialized intervention. See the April 2013 article on page 1.
- Leverage technology to reach customers: Pennsylvania reaches more clients with text messages. See the April 2014 article on page 7.
- Adapt to customer preferences: Instant chat, a customer service web portal, and a child support app are ways Ohio is ramping up customer service efforts. See the January 2013 article on page 1.
- Involve your partners: Nevada state and county offices collaborate on major technology improvements. See the August 2013 article on page 1.