State and federal funding allocations for child support services in Colusa, Sutter and Yolo counties have remained flat for close to 15 years, despite caseloads increasing and the cost of doing business continuing to rise.
The three counties, which are currently being overseen by the Yolo County Child Support Services Director Natalie Dillon, announced this week they are partnering with the Center for the Support of Families (CSF) to assess the programs being delivered to find efficiencies and to determine if it would be more effective to combine the efforts into a more regionalized approach.
“The counties of Colusa, Sutter and Yolo are excited to be on the cutting edge of seeking efficiencies in a government framework,” Dillon said. “Our goal is to deliver excellent child support services with our limited resources. CSF, with their knowledge of national best practices, is an outstanding partner in this endeavor.”
CSF is a division of SLI Government Solutions, which works with federal, state and local government agencies on developing standards-based quality management methodology. The organization has already begun their operational assessment of the three county departments, which will include staff interviews, observing court, and reviewing policy and procedural documentation.
As part of their assessment, they will document the current state of the departments, look at proven practices from other jurisdictions around the country, and develop recommendations for consideration.
“Instead of three separate caseloads, we would have only one case load with one budget as to more efficiently use our resources. If you look at training across the three counties, we could have one trainer instead of having three trainers, if we were to adopt a more regionalized approach,” Dillon said. “So, we are looking at how we can organize our operations that best use those state and federal allocations – we don’t operate using county money. It’s about taking that fixed allocation and looking at how we can improve service delivery and increase community understanding of what we do.”
Dillon said she sees a regionalized Child Support Services as a great opportunity for those that utilize the services in the area. The operational assessment is expected to be completed in spring 2020.