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The 13-member Brunswick County Social Services Child Support Enforcement team is recognized as one of the top performing child support programs in the state.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) recently awarded Brunswick County’s Child Support Enforcement team with a Certificate of Excellence, recognizing it as one of the top performing child support programs in the state.

Brunswick County is one of four North Carolina counties to successfully achieve all its goals for collections, incentives, and self-assessment performance measures in FY 2022. NC DHHS awarded Brunswick County the certificate during the 2022 Child Support Services Conference in August.

“Our child support enforcement team members have worked extremely hard and smart throughout the pandemic,” Social Services Director Cathy Lytch said. “Our team has faced a number of challenges to close cases due to COVID-19’s impact on public health, the court system, and employment opportunities for our residents. The teamwork exemplified by our case workers and the support from the courts has made achieving these goals possible.”

Brunswick County’s Child Support Enforcement team consists of 13 members who supported an average of 3,600 child support cases in the past fiscal year, overseeing child support collections and payments worth millions of dollars.

These agents provide a variety of services to assist local kids, ranging from locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity for children born outside of marriage, establishing support obligations, collecting and distributing support, and enforcing support obligations.

Incentive performance measures are based on the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 and are meant to provide program accountability and commend strong performers. Brunswick County’s performance in the incentive assessment areas exceeded most of the average statewide performance rates, as well.

FY 2022 Incentive Performance Measurements

The NC DHHS/County Memorandum of Agreement sets baseline child support performance measures based on federal mandates. Each county has individual benchmark goals set in accordance with these mandates and based on prior year performance to measure growth.

Brunswick County established paternity for 2,946 children with 2,748 children born out of wedlock in FY 2022, contributing to a performance score over 100%.

Self-assessment performance measures are federal regulations. They are a state’s primary tool for monitoring child support enforcement programs and their management. The NC DHHS Child Support Services division reviews the following areas for each county annually:

Case Closure.

Establishment of Paternity and Support Orders.

Expedited Process.

Enforcement of Orders.

Disbursement of Collections.

Securing and Enforcing Medical Support.

Review and Adjustments.

Intergovernmental Services.

Self-assessment results are reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goals and scores for each unit are based on time frames for the three areas of child support: establishment of cases, enforcement of cases, and interstate cases.

Brunswick County Child Support Services are available to anyone seeking assistance with collecting child support. Child support agents assist custodial parents with the establishment and collection of child support payments regardless of income. For more information, go to brunswickcountync.gov/social-services/child-support.

To contact Brunswick County Social Services, call (910) 253-2077 or email dss@brunswickcountync.gov.

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