August launch coincides with Child Support Awareness Month
OLYMPIA — Washington state’s Division of Child Support is celebrating the launch of a new app for Android phones this August. The launch coincides with Child Support Awareness Month and reflects how child support programs are addressing the changing needs of families.
“We are focused on finding new ways to help parents overcome barriers to supporting their children financially and emotionally,” said Wally McClure, director of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Child Support. “Studies tell us that improving and stabilizing family incomes contributes to brighter futures for children, families and communities.”
Developed by the Division of Child Support, the WA State Child Support app can be found in the Google Play Store. An Apple version will soon follow. The app helps people find local child support offices, access easy ways to make a support payment and even includes a calculator that will make a rough estimate of a child support obligation.
Apps for mobile devices are part of the Division of Child Support’s continued effort to serve families in Washington, which has been on the leading edge of child support programs since as early as 1961. In 2014, the division’s work touched one in six children in Washington resulting in the collection of more than $684 million. Ninety-two percent of the money collected by the division went directly to families. The remaining 8 percent offsets public assistance costs.
The division is committed to doing more than collection, through programs such as Alternative Solutions and the Employment Pipeline that help parents get back on track financially. It also participates in innovative grant programs that move families to long-term financial stability in partnership with DSHS’s Community Services Division.
Washington’s approach and the positive effect of efficient child support collection are part of the reason Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation declaring August 2015 as Child Support Awareness Month. August was first designated as Child Support Awareness Month in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, and 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of a federal child support program.