The mission of California's Child Support Services Program is to promote the well-being of children and the self-sufficiency of families by assisting both parents to meet the financial, medical, and emotional needs of their children through the delivery of quality child support establishment, collection, and distribution services.
The Contra Costa County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will provide an effective system encouraging parental responsibility for children, increasing the likelihood for children and youth to succeed in life. We will be responsive to customer needs and foster public awareness of parental responsibility in hospitals, schools, and the community.
DCSS case files are confidential. They may be released or disclosed only under specific circumstances. In order for our office to discuss a case with anyone other than the parties involved, one or both of the parties must first notify us in writing. The release will allow us to share information with the person identified as if it were his/her case. However, that person cannot make changes to an order through our office. Only the parties to the order can affect those changes. If an attorney currently represents you on child support matters, we can only discuss the case with your attorney. We do not need a release to do so.
When your case is opened, a caseworker will promptly contact you if more information is needed. Contact with our office can be made by mail, telephone, fax, e-mail: e-mail or in person. See Directions.
Our Call Center is an automated 24-hour a day telephone system providing payment information and answers to many general questions. The Call Center has pre-recorded answers to general questions and will help you navigate the system. Go to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for answers.
You Can Help
- What is the non-custodial parent's social security number? It is the most important piece of information.
- Does the non-custodial parent have a new address, telephone number, or employer?
- Has your court order changed?
- Have you moved? Is there a different daytime phone number?
- Have you received a direct payment of child or spousal support from the non-custodial parent?
- If you are receiving CalWORKs benefits, you are required by law to mail the direct payment to us. If you are not receiving CalWORKs benefits, bring or mail the payment to us so your account will be correct.
Like private attorneys, we expect and require your full cooperation and assistance. We don't know the other parent as well as you do. Your knowledge of their employment is important to us.
You will be treated with respect when you contact our office.
Have your case number when you contact our office.
There are many resources available to locate the non-custodial parent and many ways to prove ability to pay child support. There are legal actions that can be taken and agencies that will cooperate in the enforcement of child support orders. We have a staff of well-trained workers who are dedicated to the collection of your child support.
In spite of our best efforts, some things are difficult to overcome:
- Some absent parents are unlocated.
- Some don't earn enough to have child support ordered.
- Some manage to conceal their assets.