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County teams up with Nuts to promote child support awareness
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Baseball has long been a sport parents shared with their children; the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services is hoping the game will also raise awareness about the importance of dads and moms participating in their children’s lives. 

The Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services was selected by the National Child Support Enforcement Association as the recipient of the 2012 Excellence Award for Program Awareness for their “Stepping Up to the Plate” campaign.

The campaign, which will run through the regular baseball season, includes several opportunities for the public if they come out to the ball park. Every Sunday home game of the Modesto Nuts, Stanislaus County DCSS sponsors the Catch on the Field activity 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, providing a fun and enjoyable event for the parents and their children.   The ticket booths 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,” said Interim Director of Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services Tamara Thomas.

This 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.

Stanislaus County SCSS’ award comes during Child Support Awareness month. During child Support Awareness Month, the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services is reminding parents to meet their responsibility to provide financial, medical, and emotional support for their children.

“The focus of Child Support Awareness Month 2012 is the vital role parents play in providing a positive environment for their child.  DCSS’ efforts to collect child support payments continued to grow last year to the benefit of families across California,” said Thomas.

California’s child support collections increased by $37 million in the state fiscal year ending in June 2011, with the total distributed collections at $2.3 billion.  Of that, $1.8 billion was distributed directly to families, and $500 million was distributed to the state and federal government for recoupment of public assistance and foster care expenses.

Stanislaus County preliminary figures for the state fiscal year ending in June 2012, show an increase of approximately $590,000 despite current challenging economic and employment conditions.  Total collections for Stanislaus County for the year exceeded $48.8 million dollars.

During the month of August, parents who are past due on their child support payments are encouraged to drop by their local child support agency to make a payment, modify their child support order, obtain a repayment plan, and/or find out whether they qualify for a compromise on the overdue balance.