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The digital child support agency

Move from collections to collaboration in child support services

Overview

Child support services are about children’s financial and emotional well-being. That’s why agencies are broadening their collections mission to strengthen family relationships. Imagine the possibilities if they combined these efforts with digital tools and technologies.
The digital child support agency strengthens parent-to-parent, parent-to-child and parent-to-agency relationships. As research shows, strong relationships can mean healthier families, better outcomes, and higher collection rates—a win for everyone.

Background

The connection between positive parent-child relationships and collection rates is influencing a trend of family-centered child support services. Case in point: proposed federal child support reforms include parenting time initiatives.

Key Findings

Consider three digital hotspots for child support services:

  1. 1. ANALYTICS: Opportunity, not just enforcement

    The more agencies understand the factors that influence whether or not non-custodial parents make payments, the more they can target child support services. 

  2. With analytics, child support agencies identify predictors of behavior and act on them quickly. They can get proactive with parents before they have to get punitive.

  1. 2. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Experiences, not just transactions

    Most child support agencies have an online presence, while some are more comprehensive than others. 

  2. Using the latest in user experience and service design practices, agencies can create hyper-personalized online customer experiences that go beyond one-size-fits-all transactions.

  1. 3. MOBILITY: Empowerment, not just convenience

    Child support caseworkers tend to be centralized at state or county offices, largely due to data access and security issues. 

  2.  Even so, child support agencies can work on getting caseworkers into the field. What could be better to build relationships than making personal connections right where families are?

Analysis

Digital will be a driver as agencies explore more family-focused child support services.

Digital tools and technologies empower agencies to understand parental motivations and family dynamics in new ways and deliver personalized, convenient services faster. With streamlined workflows, child support agencies can realign caseworkers to focus less on transaction processing and more on relationship building.

Recommendations


Making the most of digital to transform child support services is not as simple as purchasing tools and technologies and watching the magic happen.




Making the most of digital to transform child support services is not as simple as purchasing tools and technologies and watching the magic happen.

Agencies must begin by analyzing their current processes and determining how they could be improved. With this foundation, agencies are in a much better position to move from collections to collaboration—powered by digital. 


Author

Andrew Hagman, PMP
Accenture Technology Account Lead – Michigan

Andrew has been with Accenture for 17 years and working on Child Support projects for 11 years. He is always looking for new technology solutions to address complicated business problems. And he is focused on building teams that have the skills and flexibility necessary to meet and exceed business expectations.

 

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