SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) today announced its Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) will adopt a new name and an updated website. On July 1, DCSE will become the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).
In 2009, the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee and HFS-DCSE participated in a grant to determine the level of public awareness of services offered by the Illinois child support program. It was learned during this process that parents had a negative reaction to the program name “Division of Child Support Enforcement.” Therefore a name change was recommended, which is now being implemented at no cost.
“The consensus was that the name of the child support division may actually discourage parents from participating in the program,” said HFS Director, Julie Hamos. “We offer free services that both custodial and non custodial parents can take advantage of, and we don’t want anything to keep children in Illinois from getting the support they deserve.”
The Division of Child Support Services is first and foremost a program intended to bring economic benefits to children but is also about strengthening families and being fair to both parents. DCSS provides many free services including establishment of legal parentage, establishment of support, locate services, collection and disbursement of support payments statewide, as well as enforcement services.
“We have made the improvement of child support services top priority”, said HFS Administrator of Child Support, Pamela Lowry. “We want all parents to feel comfortable participating in the process. This name change is a way to show our customers and hopefully other parents that we are listening and want to help them in any way we can.”
Along with the name change comes an updated website. The re-design will incorporate a new customer validation process required by Public Act 98-0674 Identity Protection Act. The website will have a different look, a simplified structure, streamlined information, and above all will be more secure. Customers will use a PIN to access their account information. PINs are being mailed to current website users.
HFS-DCSS’ main focus is to reduce childhood poverty by ensuring that when one parent is not in the child’s home, the child still receives economic support from both parents. FY 2010 will be the sixth year in a row the department has collected over $1 billion in support for Illinois children.
The name change and redesigned website are all being accomplished at no cost.
For more information on child support services offered through HFS-DCSS, please visit http://www.childsupportillinois.com/