When Child Support Agencies Rely on Paperwork, Kids Get Lost in the Shuffle

By Seth Engel, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Docusign

Child support enforcement in the U.S. is at a crossroads: Citizens and agency staff are accustomed to a digital, hyper-connected world, but hardworking caseworkers and their staff too often lack the modern tools that they need to support families and children.

Hampered by legacy back-office software, and even paper spreadsheets and forms, caseworkers are often unable to differentiate between parents who want to pay child support but lack the economic means, and those who scoff their legal obligations. The result? A reactive, punitive system that locks parents in a cycle of legal and financial troubles, frustrates agency staff, and prevents caseworkers from doing the critical work that attracted them to the job in the first place.

Caseworkers — and the families they serve — deserve better.

Some state child enforcement agency leaders are finding a solution with digital agreement processes. Aspects include:

  • Self-service portals: Don’t force parents to download, fill out, and mail PDF documents. Instead, consider bundling information and digital documents in self-service portals. This allows parents to submit and update information digitally, whether a renewal application, a new address, or financial and employment information after a job change.
  • Digital forms and electronic signature: Paperwork is a barrier that can prevent parents from registering for or maintaining child support. Tear down that barrier by providing digital versions of the countless forms that parents must submit (and that agency staff must manage) with the added security of a full audit trail.
  • Mobile accessibility: Today, people expect the ability to handle most tasks from their mobile devices. Make it easy for them to find information and to sign, submit, and update forms whenever and wherever they are.

With cloud-based tools like Docusign, it’s fast and easy for child support agencies to adopt new digital agreement processes. By doing so, agencies can improve application and onboarding processes and free up staff to focus on the people—families and children—who they serve.

With a digital approach to forms and signatures, your agency can lay a foundation for stronger families and communities. To learn more, check out “Helping Non-Custodial Parents Move from Intent to Action,” a new report from The Government Business Council and Docusign.

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