The California Child Support Directors Association on Wednesday honored Santa Barbara County with an Outstanding Group Achievement Award for Santa Barbara’s development of a system that allows its attorneys to appear in court without carrying case files.
Clerical preparation time for each day’s court calendar was decreased from eight hours to 15 minutes thanks to the use of a computer program that was developed in Sacramento County and refined by Santa Barbara.
The program culls information from the child support statewide computer case management system, concisely compiling the pertinent facts about each case into face sheets. When attorneys appear in court with securely encrypted laptops, they are able to access everything they need in a dependably organized format, creating one of the efficiencies that allows Santa Barbara Child Support to serve 13,000 families with only three attorneys.
The California Child Support program has been served by a unified, statewide computer system since 2008 and enjoys a culture of collaboration between the 51 local service-delivering agencies.
This award honors the statewide impacts of Santa Barbara’s paperless court system, since Santa Barbara has made this technology available to any child support agency in the state, at no charge, and the benefits are being felt throughout California.
— Carrie Topliffe is the director of the Santa Barbara County Department of Child Support Services.