August is Child Support Awareness Month
DENVER (Aug. 1, 2019) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has proclaimed August as Child Support Awareness Month, and the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) within the Colorado Department of Human Services and local county offices plan to celebrate with a series of events throughout the month.
The governor’s proclamation coincides with the national observance of Child Support Awareness Month, which was established in 1995 by President Bill Clinton to help ensure that all children have the financial support they need. DCSS has been among the nation’s leaders in this cause, with a long-standing tradition of exploring new and innovative approaches to improving its service delivery so that more families can benefit from consistent child support payments.
This past October, DCSS was recognized by the Western Intergovernmental Child Support Engagement Council (WICSEC) with the Platinum Program Award, in part for reducing the zero payer rate to 28 percent.
Since winning the award, DCSS has continued to strive to find new and better ways to serve the families and children of Colorado, including the successful implementation of House Bill 18-1363 (which fosters inclusiveness in the child support process by providing information to all parties in a case). DCSS is also collecting $48 million for children through automated enforcement remedies, starting a partnership with the Denver Women’s Correctional facility implementing the Postcard Program, and processing close to 3,500 incoming interstate cases to get needed payments to children and families.
Colorado has made significant changes to ensure child support goes directly to some of Colorado’s most vulnerable children and families. In April 2017, Colorado implemented a first-in-the-nation full child support pass-through policy for families receiving Colorado Works cash assistance. Prior to this policy change, the state, county and federal governments had retained all payments made by non-custodial parents on behalf of children receiving Colorado Works to reimburse a portion of those public assistance benefits paid. Since this change, more than $11 million has gone directly to families instead of government entities. Additionally, Colorado experienced larger than anticipated increases in child support payments for these families, on average $167 more per month.
In the near future, DCSS will launch a new website that will simplify the online experience both for the general public and for DCSS partners around the state.
For more information on how your area is celebrating Child Support Awareness Month, please contact your county human services department.