By Julie Cockerton
Program Manager, Solano County
The Department of Child Support Services in Solano County held its first Open House networking event on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. Originally, this event was focused on just our community partners, but soon changed course as a way to benefit the child support community.
“This was our first time holding this type of event, and it was quite a success,” reports Pam Posehn, Solano DCSS Director.
With over 50 people in attendance representing several agencies throughout Solano County (including Health and Social Services, Probation, and Community Based Organizations), and a few from other Local Child Support Agencies (such as Sacramento, Alameda, Napa, and Contra Costa County), they hope this type of educational event will become more widespread.
After hearing that another LCSA had put on a similar event, a committee spent several months planning the Open House. Pam’s intent was to bring together disparate agencies dealing with children and family issues to share ideas, strategies, and information.
“We can all benefit from a clear understanding of what services other agencies offer,” according to Janeene de Martinez, Assistant Director. “Ultimately that will help all our customers immensely.”
Solano DCSS invited various County Officials to this three hour, afternoon event, including members of the County Board of Supervisors and other policy makers.
California Child Support Director, Alisha Griffin, met with staff after the event and spoke about the State’s vision for the Program during the upcoming federal fiscal year and beyond
George Chance, Regional Administrator, congratulated Solano DCSS on the successful event, acknowledging the energy and enthusiasm of the staff. “I expect that visitors walked away with a very positive impression of your staff and the child support program in Solano. Well done!” .
“We hoped to educate other County representatives about what our office does,” explains de Martinez, “and by doing so, there will be a better understanding about what child support means to all of our customers.”
Staff at Solano DCSS were proud to share what they are doing with their community partners. Along with a virtual office tour, Solano staff prepared several videos explaining how a case is opened, how a court order is established, how a court order is enforced, and how the financial accounts are managed.
“Since so much of the work going on in other County offices is dedicated to specific needs, our goal was to connect and expand partnerships, making it that much easier to know where and how to refer people,” explains Sandra Lee, organizer of the event. According to Lee, “Case workers know that many County departments share mutual customers, so we hoped that by making personal connections, we would be able to actively work together and serve our customers more efficiently.”
“We hope this inspires other County offices to host their own networking/educational event,” explains Ms. Posehn. “Coming together in this way can allow a more integrated level of support for our customers. We are all just trying to help, and anything we can do to assist will be of value for all.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the event, or having your office participate or network with DCSS in some way, please contact Julie Cockerton at JDCockerton@SolanoCounty.com or 707-784-3636.