For Immediate Release
Department of Child Support Services announces new programs to support local families
SANTA ROSA, CA | August 10, 2023
The Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services unveiled new resources this week to meet the diverse needs of local families, including programs to help parents simplify child support payments, reduce child support debts, and regain driver’s licenses that have been suspended for failure to pay child support.
The department also distributed 120 free backpacks with school supplies this week to mark Child Support Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign to educate the public about the array of services available to help parents honor their child support obligations.
The department serves as a neutral third-party that can help establish paternity, locate absent parents and enforce court orders for child support. Last year, it collected and distributed more than $30.5 million to support 14,000 local children.
“Families come in diverse shapes and sizes, but most parents have a common goal: to see their children thrive,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “Child Support Awareness Month is an excellent time to learn about all of the services that exist in Sonoma County to help parents achieve that goal.”
“Our mission is to promote the well-being of children and the self-sufficiency of families by assisting both parents to meet the financial, medical and emotional needs of children,” said Janeene de Martinez, director of the Department of Child Support Services. “Every family’s dynamics and needs are unique. We are dedicated to helping parents navigate the child support system while working together to create caring environments that improve the well-being and success of their children.”
Sonoma County Child Support Services has revolutionized the way child support payments are made, making it easier for parents to fulfill their obligations. The department facilitates payments through various services, including PayPal, PayNearMe, MoneyGram, credit cards online, phone, or direct withdrawal from a checking or savings account. To accommodate busy working parents, payments can also be submitted electronically by their employers. For parents who prefer paying in person, the department offers a kiosk that accepts cash, credit and debit cards, and e-checks at its main Santa Rosa office, located at 3725 Westwind Blvd., Suite 200.
The department announced it has revised its Debt Reduction Program, ensuring that more parents have access to much-needed support in lowering or eliminating child support debts owed to the state. Information is available at childsupport.ca.gov/overview/debt-reduction-program or by calling (866) 901-3212.
In August and September, the department is promoting a program for parents who have had their driver’s license suspended due to not paying child support. With a small payment, they have the opportunity to have their license reinstated. Call 1-866-901-3212 or visit the department’s Westwind Boulevard office for information.
Sonoma County Child Support Services is ranked No. 1 by the State of California for its success in reaching child support agreements through “stipulations.” These collaborative agreements encourage parents to find common ground and strike a balance between their differing visions of their child’s wants and needs.
To streamline access to services, Sonoma County Child Support Services has embraced technological advancements. From simplified online enrollment to virtual court hearings, parents now have easier access to the resources needed to efficiently fulfill their child support obligations.