ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Human Services’ pioneering Child Support Services Mobile App has moved the state to the head of the line for a major national IT award.

Georgia this week was named one of three finalists for a National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) IT Recognition Award in the “Digital Government: Government to Citizen” category. These awards honor outstanding information technology achievements in state government. 

DHS’s Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) launched the free GA DCSS app in September 2016, making Georgia one of the first states to provide a full-service app to assist customers with child support cases on their mobile devices.

The app “gives the division the opportunity to engage and partner with customers with child support information and self-service options -- at their convenience,” said DCSS Director Tanguler Gray.

Users of the app can also:

  • Review their payment history
  • View scheduled appointments, case activities, and details of child support orders
  • Chat with a DCSS representative
  • Receive notifications and alerts about important information regarding their cases

Also, the upcoming document-upload and signature-capture features will allow customers to sign documents without the inconvenience of visiting a child support office.

DHS Chief Information Officer Venkat Krishnan said the NASCIO awards are “much more broad-based than some other awards in that they encompass enterprises across all sectors of state government,” from state licensing to finance to forestry.

“It’s a clear recognition of our technical advancement in the field of child support that we provided this useful tool that’s easily accessible and affordable – in this case, free,” Krishnan added.

The DHS Office of Information Technology (OIT) developed the app in-house and worked closely with other state agencies whose services and functions often overlap with DCSS. The technical team also 

collaborated with the GeorgiaGov Interactive team at the Georgia Technology Authority, which tested the app’s functionality and recommended changes to make it easy to use and accessible for people with a range of disabilities.

The app is yielding dividends both for DCSS and the families it serves:

  • It helps customers by offering secure access to their child support cases.
  • It helps Georgia’s families and taxpayers by streamlining recovery of support payments and freeing up more federal incentive dollars.
  • It helps DCSS’s service delivery by thinning lines at local offices, allowing the division to focus more attention on case management.

“The DCSS mobile app is part of an effort to meet our child support customers where they are,” said DHS Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden. “Georgia is leading the way in providing self-service options and tools to help strengthen the state’s children and families.”

The NASCIO Award winners will be announced in October during the association’s 2017 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.