Catawba County News

Social Services Promotes Child Support Awareness

Social Services Promotes Child Support Awareness

Published: August 18, 2020

August has been declared Child Support Awareness Month in North Carolina.

Child Support Services is a nationwide program to help ensure both parents support their children to the extent of their ability. In Catawba County, this program is administered by Catawba County Social Services under the direction of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Social Services currently manages more than 6,000 cases in its Child Support Services (CSS) unit. CSS staff use local, state and federal resources to establish and enforce child support orders, which may involve locating a non-supporting parent, establishing paternity, obtaining or modifying a legal child support order, and collecting child support payments.

Child support is established by a court order and is based on the needs of the child and the parents’ ability to provide support. Parents may voluntarily agree to an amount of support defined by state guidelines, or the amount may be set by the court.

From July 2019 to June 2020, the CSS unit collected just over $11.5 Million in child support payments for children in Catawba County. Payments are distributed to a child’s household to cover the child’s food, shelter, clothes, and everyday living expenses. Issues concerning custody and visitation are not part of the child support process.

“Our sole purpose is to help children gain the financial stability they deserve to achieve a successful future,” said Crystal Clark, child support program manager for Catawba County Social Services. “We are committed to working with both parents to reach this mutual goal for their children.”

Applications for Child Support Services can be made online at or in person at Catawba County Social Services, 3030 11th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory. For more information, call the Catawba County Child Support Services unit at (828) 695-4405 or the state’s toll-free assistance number at 1-800-992-9457.