The department rated agencies around the state based on five performance-based criteria including how many paternities the agency established, how many court orders they obtained, the amount of support they collected and their cost effectiveness.
“Let me just say that it’s true that county performance is critical. But it’s more than just the numbers,” said DCSS Director Jan C. Sturla in a statement. “It’s a continuous commitment to providing the highest quality service to California’s children and families, and these counties illustrate that commitment every day.”
This is the highest ranking El Dorado County has ever received. In 2004 the agency was rated 4th.
“Being ranked No. 3 in the state shows the residents of El Dorado County that we are performing a service that is exemplary,” said Laura Roth, director of El Dorado County Child Support Services. “Because we care so much about our community, we’ve been so successful.”
El Dorado County Child Support Services collects on 8,000 child support cases. They average $15 million in collections per year. They have 67 staff members, including eight in the South Lake Tahoe office. The staff is very proud of the work they’re doing, especially the youth outreach, said Mary Luckel, who has worked in the South Lake Tahoe office since 1997.
“We’ve got a good community. We want to give back as much as we can,” Luckel said. “The bottom line is the child. We want to collect for the child.”
California child support programs helps families establish paternity through a legal process and free genetic testing. They help secure child support orders through the courts, and they enforce those orders. If needed, they can modify the order to maintain consistent and fair child support and they distribute support payments to the proper party.
In 2010 California’s child support program collected over $2.2 billion and served 1.7 million children.