Governor Susana Martinez announced today that the New Mexico Human Services Department's Child Support Enforcement Division has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Most Improved Program Award. The award is in recognition of a child support program that has shown exceptional improvement in key child support enforcement performance areas over the past three years.
"This is why we worked so hard last year on increasing child support collections through the introduction of innovative programs such as our bench warrant roundup. This award is the result of much hard work on the part of our dedicated child support professionals and their commitment to New Mexico's children," said Governor Susana Martinez. "I want to thank the hard working employees of the Child Support Enforcement Division, as well as our law enforcement partners, for their continued commitment to serving our kids."
The administration's efforts to improve child support payment collection and enforcement also includes a strong commitment to transparency by posting the names of individuals with outstanding child support bench warrant online at HSD's website at http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/CSEDBenchWarrants.html.
The award comes from the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA), which serves as the voice of the child support community. NCSEA looks at three years of performance in various areas of the child support program to ensure consistent, broad based improvement. In the past three federal fiscal years, the New Mexico program has improved in areas such as:
Paternity Establishment Percentage -- Improving the ranking from 54th in the nation to 29th in the nation (Each state maintains a child support program, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)Collections on Past Due Child Support -- Improving the ranking from 12th in the nation to 9th in the nation Overall National Ranking -- Improving the ranking from 48th in the nation to 40th in the nation
"It is a true honor for New Mexico to be selected as a recipient of this award. Our CSED has implemented some impressive initiatives, such as the Bench Warrant Program, that helped contribute to its selection as this year's award winner," said Sidonie Squier, Secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department. "Our commitment to ensuring that the children of New Mexico receive the support that is due to them will continue as we continue to improve our child support program. This honor is a fantastic step in the right direction and all of our child support team members are to be congratulated for their outstanding work."
CSED collected a record $123.5 million for the children of New Mexico last state fiscal year, which was a record for child support collections in New Mexico. The program has already broken last year's record with three days still remaining in this fiscal year. The number of cases with court orders has also increased from 42,300 in July 2010 to over 47,200 through May 31, 2012. This means that more children are likely to get the support that is due to them.