August is Child Support Awareness Month

Child Support Awareness Month is observed throughout the country each August, and in honor of it, the California Department of Child Support Services is focused on parents who make the effort to be exceptional examples in their children’s lives.

Child Support Awareness

The theme for 2017 is, “Give them something great to imitate.”

“When parents are positively involved in their children’s lives they set the example for generations to come,” California Gov. Jerry Brown wrote in a letter announcing Child Support Awareness Month, adding, “I encourage all Californians to remember that we are role models to each and every child.”

California DCSS and local child support agencies offer assistance to parents in setting positive examples that their children will emulate and pass on to future generations.

In addition to promoting good parenting, DCSS also helps ensure children are financially supported. The organization distributed $1.5 billion in collections to more than one million California families last year, according to a press release. Maintaining consistency in child support payments to improve a child’s quality of life is an ideal way to “give them something great to imitate.” To assist parents in setting good examples for their children, DCSS offers a variety of services to assist moms and dads in being great parents.

Child support is important because it helps ensure that your children have what they need to grow up healthy. These funds are meant to cover the expenses of raising and caring for children, including food, clothing, shelter, transportation, health care, education, after school care, and even extracurricular activities.

Sadly, not all parents who need child support get what they are owed. In 2013, nearly 26 percent of custodial parents who were due child support had received no payments from noncustodial parents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the most current year for which statistics were available. Almost 46 percent reported receiving the full amount due.

Parents owed $32.9 billion in child support nationwide in 2013, which was a $14 billion decrease from 10 years earlier, once adjusted to 2013 dollars.

“About 68.5 percent of the $32.9 billion in child support due in 2013 was reported as received, averaging $3,950 per year per custodial parent who was due support,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

California parents who are behind on their child support payments may benefit from the Compromise of Arrears Program, which arranges compromise repayments to the state. In some cases, parents may be able to settle the debt for less than the full amount owed. For more details on COAP, as well as information on checking your child support account, making online payments and other child support information, visit the DCSS website:

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