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How to Deliver Family-Focused Child Support Services

Combating the stigma.

The child support program across the United States has evolved significantly since its inception. We have seen a shift from an enforcement-focused mindset to providing more holistic case management services. This is seen through the programs and assistance offered to the recent name change of the federal program itself, the Office of Child Support Services. This shift is helping to build positive and lasting partnerships. It intends to combat the fear and negative stigma associated with the program’s actions. The focus now is on the whole family, emphasizing connecting parents to resources and providing holistic services to families.

How We Support Family-Focused Services

Public Knowledge® supports this transformative journey of child support agencies. We have seen mindsets change and have been a part of the change. As a result, PK can provide assistance and guidance in implementing the family-focused approach. Our subject matter experts in public policy, law, business process redesign, business guidelines reviews, and strategic planning. PK has collaborated with 28 states, from operational assessments to program implementation assistance.

Equipping Child Support Professionals

PK also offers many training courses to help build the foundation of a family-centered approach. For example, Collaborative Negotiation gives participants an understanding of how to engage parents and reach agreements with them effectively. These skills can boost staff confidence in working with parents and in the potential outcomes of a family-focused approach.

Seeing the Change Firsthand

Our firm guided Louisiana’s employment and training program led by child support. In 2021, we partnered with the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services to assess a small-scale employment program for child support in Caddo Parish. The following year, we helped the agency expand the program to other locations and will continue to support the agency. Having an agency engage in a program like this indicates the shift towards a family-focused approach. As parents are supported, it helps the families and helps communities.

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Positive Outcomes Delivered.

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