November 2018,  OneVoice CSDA Newsletter

OCSE Idea Lab Recap

By Marie Girulat, Director, San Bernardino County DCSS

Ideas, ideas and more ideas! That was the basis of the 2018 Office of Child Support Enforcement’s (OCSE) Idea Lab. In September, the 3rd Annual Child Support Idea Lab saw participants from large jurisdictions and states gathered in San Francisco. The goal, to tackle topics by thinking outside the box and generating ideas to improve the child support program.

The majority of the meeting was spent generating ideas and solutions in small groups. The eight topics provided to the groups included collaboration, leadership/management, rebranding the child support image, case management, workforce/employment, data, customer engagement, and collections/payment options. Participants from counties and states, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Arizona, California, Guam, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, and Washington brought their creative ideas and practices to share with the group.

Kevin Sangrung and Judith Green from Los Angeles County said, “It was interesting to see how other jurisdictions engage with their customers. It was also a valuable experience to hear and compare our ideas with other jurisdictions, allowing us to brainstorm new, effective practices to better support LA. It was a pleasure to participate in and facilitate sessions and engage in deep discussions on how to improve the child support program.”

The process allowed for all in attendance to share ideas in each of the eight topics. Everyone rotated among all four tables changing throughout the day, so everyone had an opportunity to interact with most, if not all, participants.

Jeff Grissom and Steve Lujan from San Diego County said, “Learning from others in the program with both similar and differing philosophies helps improve the Child Support Program in California by recognizing there are different points of view and approaches to the same problem. These differing perspectives provide insight into how our customers react to the things we engage with them on and lessons learned from the differing approaches”.

Some of the participants that developed and implemented ideas from past Idea Labs shared their experience along with other best practices. Topics like domestic violence, collaboration with local libraries, texting, and the hike it up calculator have been shared via webinars hosted by OCSE.

At the end of the 2 days, the participants left energized by fresh new practices and excited about innovative ideas to develop and implement in their own agencies.