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DPHHS Modernizes Child Support Services Division

DPHHS director Charlie Brereton has announced several improvements within the Child Support Services Division designed to enhance the overall customer service experience for thousands of Montanans the division serves.

“DPHHS is working to improve quality customer service and bring greater efficiencies to the agency,” Brereton said. “Recent improvements made within CSSD are an excellent example of how we’re working to better serve Montanans and save taxpayer dollars.”

Brereton said the CSSD changes are in line with Gov. Greg Gianforte’s commitment to improving customer service and modernizing technology in state government, including through his Digital Challenge.

The first change is a recently launched phone system CSSD has deployed that provides clients with consistent self-service options from one main number at 1-800346-5437.

The new phone line offers clients a centralized, direct way to contact CSSD staff. This change adds another option for clients to access payment and account balances, as well as an opportunity ask general questions.

Clients can also go online to find general information, apply for services and make and look up payment information. Employers also have online options, such as reporting new hires.

The new system allows staff across the state to answer the approximately 14,000 calls received every month, decreasing regional office wait times.

The new system also includes a customer survey to help collect timely feedback related to the overall client experience. The survey will be ongoing and includes a four-question prompt at the end of each call.

“The overall customer service experience is our highest priority, and the survey will provide us with valuable information for continued improvement,” CSSD administrator Christie Twardoski said.

Previously, clients needing assistance were limited to calling the local regional office where their case files were located.

However, that is no longer the case due to the digitization of CSSD case files. Recently, CSSD digitized 30,000 paper case files into a new electronic document management system, instead of the previous paper-based files. The project included scanning over 4 million single- document pages. The new electronic document management system has led to improved consistency and more efficient and effective case processing.

The 30,000 files can now be shared among 140 workers throughout the five CSSD locations in Billings, Butte, Helena, Missoula, and Great Falls. Previously, files had to be transported manually to other offices to help balance workloads. This change has especially benefited Montanans living in rural communities without a local CSSD office.

“Electronic file sharing among child support workers impacts rural residents by enhancing accessibility and responsiveness,” Twardoski said. “The change has led to increased efficiency, improved data security, service quality, and ultimately contributed to more streamlined operations.”

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