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El Dorado honored for support efforts

Gregory Crofton

El Dorado County Department of Child Support Services was ranked sixth out 58 counties in California for its work this year, collecting nearly $1.4 million more for children than it did last year.

El Dorado was issued the “Top 10 County” award by the California Department of Child Support Services. El Dorado handles about 8,000 cases, 3,000 of which are handled at the Tahoe office.

“We’re a relatively small county so this is a big award for us,” said Patty Sousek, the Tahoe branch manager for child support services. “We’re really proud of the work we did this past year.”

The services are free. This year, the department collected $14.4 million in child support payments, a 10.3 percent increase over 2002.

Sousek attributes the increase in productivity to her staff setting goals at the beginning of the year then exceeding them. Another factor was her 15 staff members made an effort to be more flexible in creating payment plans for parents who owe money.

“We’re trying to take a more helpful approach,” Sousek said.

Other than establishing court orders for support, child support services can help identify a child’s father; enforce orders for medical and child-care expenses, and enable collection of support from out-of-state parents.

Child support services is located at 924 Emerald Bay Road, Suite A. The office may be reached at (530) 573-3280.

Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com