A day in the lives of DHW self-reliance specialists for Child Support Services

Throw out your preconceived notions of a customer service representative who takes orders and transfers calls. In today’s world, at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW), customer service representatives are problem-solvers and communicators. They are investigators and protectors. They listen to understand, and they speak with smiles guaranteed to comfort confused and anxious callers.


Self-reliance specialist Ambrosia Felton keeps her thank you notes on her desk to remind her of the people she has helped.

Their titles today are more reflective of their purpose. They are self-reliance specialists, and they are resolute in their goal to help their customers get to self-sufficiency by assisting them in times of need.

Ambrosia Felton and Rachelle Thrower are two of the 96 self-reliance specialists (located in Boise, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello) who create the defining experience for those who call Child Support Services in the department’s Division of Welfare. The callers are mostly moms and dads who are either receiving support or providing support for their children. Sometimes the callers are employers or caseworkers.

Ambrosia and Rachelle are the first point of contact for parents who need help navigating the child support collection system. Child support is based on the idea that both parents are financially responsible for their children, and Child Support Services helps parents either pay or collect child support payments. In 2018, Child Support Services administered 147,518 cases and collected and distributed more than $205.8 million to Idaho families. Continue reading

Idaho Child Support Services website gets a new look, more features

child support blog

Child Support Services has launched a redesigned website that makes it easier for parents to:

  • Find information about services
  • See account balances
  • View or print a payment history
  • Access messages from Child Support Services
  • Update contact information

This change will only affect how information is displayed and printed. It does not change  how child support payments are collected or distributed. Continue reading

Some Idahoans receiving child support payments will get a new card in the mail

ReliacardIdahoans who already receive child support payments can expect to get a new US Bank ReliaCard® Idaho Family Support Card in October. New customers will receive their cards in November. Both should be on the lookout for a plain white envelope with a return address from Indianapolis, IN. This card replaces the current JP Morgan Chase Idaho Family Support Card. Continue reading

House Bill 1 is headed for the joint committee; use the resources below to follow along

House Bill 1 will be introduced shortly in the joint House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee and the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee in the Lincoln Auditorium. Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong will introduce the legislation and then the joint committees will hear public testimony.

DHW has provided a packet of information that includes:  Continue reading

Here’s the schedule for Monday’s special session of the Idaho Legislature

The Idaho Legislature will convene in special session on Monday, May 18, to consider RS23967, a bill that adopts uniform language to align Idaho with all other states and approved foreign countries for the collection of child support.

The resolution will be introduced for a print hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee at about 9 a.m. in room C310 of the Idaho Capitol. If the committee votes to print the bill, Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong will provide a formal presentation explaining the legislation at about 9:30 a.m.  in a joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary and Rules  Committee and the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee.  Continue reading