County to seek new office for Department of Child Support Services in Menifee

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Riverside County will be seeking a new office in Menifee for the county’s Department of Child Support Services.

A 5-0 Riverside County Board of Supervisors vote, June 9, approved the facility in principle and authorized the county’s facilities management department to seek office space of approximately 6,000 to 8,000 square feet. The office would expand the child support program and provide space located near the new justice center.

The Department of Child Support Services provides services including the establishment of paternity, the establishment of child support and medical support orders, the collection and distribution of child support orders and enforcement of health care provisions. The department currently has offices in Riverside, Indio, Hemet and Blythe.

The county’s court administration plans to close the Hemet Family Law Court and move court services to a new justice center in Menifee. The Department of Child Support Services would like a facility near the location of the planned Superior Court branch in Menifee. A Menifee office would also allow the department to expand its services in southwest Riverside County by adding a customer service center which would allow services to be provided in a private and confidential manner.

The criteria for a new Menifee facility include adequate parking for staff and customers, adequate bandwidth and wireless fidelity access, general technology to enable video teleconferencing, private interview rooms for staff to meet-and-discuss cases and upcoming court hearings and a medium-size conference and training room for meetings and training sessions. The facilities management department conducted an extensive search for existing county property which would meet the needs for the child support services office but could not identify any space which meet the Department of Child Support Services criteria.

Approximately 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of space will be required to meet the needs for the Department of Child Support Services facility. That would accommodate between 30 and 40 department staff members including administrative staff along with attorneys or paraprofessionals.

State and federal funding will be used for the entirety of the expense once a facility is obtained, so no county general fund revenue will be applied to the cost.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.