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Child support agency wins national recognition
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A partnership between the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services and the Modesto Nuts that campaigned for parental responsibility has won an excellence award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association.

The association awarded the partnership with the 2012 Excellence Award for Program Awareness for their “Stepping Up to the Plate” campaign. The Program Awareness Award recognizes the effectiveness of media relations and public outreach in disseminating child support program information to the public.

The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the child support program and the importance of dads and moms participating in their children’s lives. The project was carried out by DCSS manager and employee Sharon Wardale-Trejo, along with the DCSS Outreach Committee.

“I’m very honored to accept this national award on behalf of the Stanislaus DCSS,” said Tamara Thomas, the department’s interim director. “This work could not be done without the 159 dedicated staff members of the Stanislaus DCSS who work tirelessly on behalf of children. This award represents the commitment local child support professionals have toward the families they serve. We want to increase awareness of the child support program for residents of Stanislaus County and will continue to promote services that positively impact the ability for children to be emotionally and financially cared for.” 

The campaign was designed to reach single parents who would benefit from the services provided by Stanislaus County DCSS as well as parents not currently involved in their children’s lives.

Stanislaus County DCSS sponsors the Catch on the Field activity at every Sunday home game, where parents and their children are invited to come onto the field 30 minutes before the game and play catch. The Modesto Nuts mascots also come out and play with the children.  

The ticket booths at the ballpark provide a child support informational brochure entitled, “Your Guide to Child Support Services” inside every Play Ball Program given to fans during Sunday home games. The brochure, developed by the California Department of Child Support Services, provides an overview of the child support program and the various functions performed by the local child support agencies. 

Part of the campaign includes Stanislaus County DCSS staff providing two informational booths during two home games, one was scheduled in June to coincide with Father’s Day and one is scheduled in August, to highlight Child Support Awareness Month. These booths give parents an opportunity to speak directly to child support staff and gather additional materials related to programs and services offered by the local child support agencies.

The partnership also produced a 30 second public service announcement that runs at every home game, highlighting the importance of dad’s being a part of their children’s lives and provides national statistics to emphasize the impacts of their absence.

The campaign will run through the baseball team’s regular season.

“The Modesto Nuts would like to congratulate the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services on winning this national award,” said Tyler Richardson, assistant general manager for the Modesto Nuts. “As a partner in their 2012 outreach program, we are honored to have been part of such a successful campaign.”