Christie Administration to Launch New Child Support Customer Service Tool
The Christie Administration today recognized August as Child Support Awareness Month and announced the September launch of a new live chat feature on its Child Support website to complement its automated phone service and mobile application (app). The Child Support Program is federally funded and administered through the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Family Development.
“The state continues to identify and implement innovative ways for custodial and non-custodial parents to stay current with child support payments,” said DHS’ Acting Commissioner, Elizabeth Connolly. “Web-based technology is available to residents almost universally through smart phones and tablets, allowing for broad outreach and enhanced customer service.” New Jersey has a child support caseload of just over 350,000 with annual collections estimated at $1.2 billion. “Accessibility and convenience improve child support compliance,” said Natasha Johnson, Director of DHS’ Division of Family Development. “This is about encouraging regular payment and ensuring that children get the support they deserve in a timely manner.”
Other initiatives the state has advanced in recent years include: a mobile app, which launched in 2014, and an interactive voice response (IVR) call center, which launched in 2012. The app allows users to check payment status, track disbursements, monitor enforcement actions and schedule hearings. The call center provides access to case information, forms and general information from 8 a.m. to 6.45 p.m., Monday through Friday. Customers also can complete simple transactions and can obtain case information at any time of day from features available through the automated IVR and the website.
To date, the Child Support app has been downloaded nearly 24,000 times. The software can be used with both Apple and Android mobile devices. In 2014, the child support website reported about 7 million views. Last year, the state also offered a Child Support Amnesty Week, during which non-custodial parents could visit child support enforcement offices to arrange a payment plan regarding back pay and future payments. As a result, there were 3,990 non-custodial parents who had their arrest warrants discharged. Child support is the acceptance of responsibility for – and a contribution to – the upbringing of your child or children. For more information about New Jersey Child Support Services, please call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or go towww.njchildsupport.org.