From the Desk of the President (August, 2011)

 

We’re trying a special new feature, which President Diederich explains in the column at right. So for a change, start reading over there, then come back right below here…    

My name is Jean Diederich, Principal Child Support Officer, Parental Fee Unit, and have been a Hennepin County employee since Sep-tember 8, 1980. I currently work at the Health Services Building, 525 Portland Ave, Minneapolis MN. I have been in this unit since its inception, February 2, 1998.  

Our unit was created by a County Board resolution as an initiative for two main purposes: 1) for the Child Support Officers - to provide a more inclusive approach for Child Support services to parents whose children are in either foster care placement or juvenile setting placement by identifying legal parents for the children, redirecting existing support obligations to the County or establishing paternity/support if an order does not exist; and collecting that support; and 2) for the Financial Case Aides - to identify financial resources available to those children for purposes of redirecting them to the County during any placement for a child as well as applying for medical bene-fits. We are located at HSB as we, along with the Financial Case Aides, work closely with the Social Workers, Probation Officers, County Attorneys and Juvenile Court who are housed here, as well as the Human Services Representatives, who are housed at Century Plaza, to achieve those goals. As they say in real estate, "Location, location, location!" Being physically close to those involved in the Juvenile Court process helps all of us to work better.  

I currently have five caseloads with about 700 active cases - Monitor (review reserved sup-port obligations); Enforcement with current charging (paying and non-paying) and Enforcement with arrears collections (paying and non-paying). I utilize a variety of resources such as Department of Motor Vehicles, Credit Bureau, new hire reports, bank accounts, MNCIS (state court information sys-tem), MAXIS (state public assistance computer system), SSIS (state Social Services information system), MAIn (juvenile corrections information system), DIAMOND and ECF (electronic file systems) to maintain the collections of child support for those cases. My job is closely intertwined with that of my coworkers who build cases on PRISM (state child support computer sys-tem), locate parents, establish paternity and set support obligations. My cases are basically the end result of all their hard work and my job is to keep them current.

That is a very brief snapshot of my job. I look forward to read-ing more about what you do. Please find your spot on the map and send it to Vicki so that we can all learn more about the variety of work that we do as well who we are.  

Thank you, Jean