Awareness event highlights services for children, parents

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August is Child Support Awareness Month and San Bernardino County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is reminding parents that they are here to offer a range of services to assist parents in supporting their children. DCSS invites parents to attend events aimed at celebrating the department’s purpose of making a positive difference in the lives of children, as well as supplying resources to provide help building stronger, healthier families.

Thursday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., DCSS will hold its first-ever Back to School Health and Resource Fair. The department will hand out free backpacks (on a first-come, first-serve basis), offer free dental screenings, free vaccinations, free haircuts, CPR demonstrations, story time, cooking and much more through partnerships with local community agencies. The event will take place at DCSS office located at 10417 Mountain View Ave., Loma Linda.

During Mondays with DCSS, the department will host representatives from social service agencies at its three offices in  Loma Linda, Victorville and Ontario. While child support customers wait to meet with their case workers, they will have the chance to meet with staff from other County departments and agencies that can provide services to their families. This year, Building a Generation, 24/7 Fathers, WIC, Family Law Facilitators, Black Infant Health, Preschool Services, Nurturing Parents and First 5 will be available to provide information to child support customers during Mondays with DCSS.

“We are here to help parents who may no longer be together and may be unaware of the programs available for their benefit through Child Support Services. Many know us as the collectors of child support, we are much more,” Child Support Services Director Marie Girulat said. “Child support payments provide a measure of financial stability for families and create better outcomes for children. It is our job to help parents meet their medical and financial support and connect them to employment, housing, and other vital services to ensure they can provide for their children. During Child Support Awareness month, the spotlight is on our department and the wonderful things we do to help families, but our staff is here every month of the year for children and parents.”

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By raising awareness about the services it provides, DCSS directly supports the Countywide Vision to promote family self-sufficiency and reduce childhood poverty throughout the county.

DCSS assists families by establishing orders for child and medical support, establishing parentage, locating parents, enforcing support orders, and collecting and distributing child support payments. DCSS is focused on helping the whole family with all aspects of services to gain self-sufficiency. DCSS is responsible for a caseload of approximately 106,000 cases with collections of over $189 million last fiscal year.

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