Department of Human Services | CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES CHILD SUPPORT APP
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Software allows parents to monitor their accounts from mobile devices
TRENTON – The Christie Administration today announced the launch of a child support mobile application (app) to help custodial and non-custodial parents keep tabs on their cases while on the go.  The app allows users to check payment status, track disbursements, monitor enforcement actions and schedule hearings.
 
 
“We know how busy everyone’s lives are and that access to a personal computer or laptop may be limited for many people,” said Jennifer Velez, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, which works together with the Family Courts and Probation to administer the New Jersey Child Support program. “An increasing number of people use smart phones as their primary link to the internet so it made sense both technologically and operationally to create ‘an app for that’.
Statistics show that 63% of people with mobile phones have smart phones and that 21% of all adult smart phone owners use their mobile phone for online browsing rather than a desktop or laptop computer. DHS’ internal research showed that between May 1 and September 1, 2013, there were 1.5 million hits to the child support website – of which, 467,000 were from a mobile device.
New Jersey has a child support caseload of about 400,000 with annual collections estimated at $1.6 billion. In 2012, the child support website got 4.5 million hits. In 2013, that number more than doubled to about 10 million views.
“We know that accessibility and convenience improve child support compliance,” said Jeanette Page Hawkins, Director of DHS’ Division of Family Development, in which the Office of Child Support operates. “We continue to identify and implement innovative ideas and technologies that simplify and encourage the process for families.”
To date, the Child Support app has been downloaded nearly 2,000 times with primarily positive reviews. The software can be used with both Apple and Android mobile devices.
On user, named John said, “Very convenient, works as advertised! There are few apps I can say are this useful.  The interface is friendly and contains everything I can get from the website but more conveniently…Looks like (you) hit the nail on the head.”
Other initiatives include an interactive voice response (IVR) call center, which launched in 2012. It provides 24/7 access to enhanced case information, forms, general information and a call center from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Customers can complete simple transactions and can obtain case information at any time of day from features available through the IVR and the website.
Through the automated phone system and the use of a PIN security code, customers are provided case information such as scheduled court hearings and specific enforcement efforts being undertaken in their case. 
For more information about the new app or New Jersey Child Support Services, please call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or go to www.njchildsupport.org.
 
 
 
 
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