County Of Sonoma

575 Administration Dr Rm 116B
Santa Rosa , CA
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Child Support Specialist I

County Of Sonoma
Santa Rosa, CA Full-time
Posted on September 6, 2019


The Department of Child Support Services is looking for energetic, detail-oriented candidates with strong customer service skills to join our highly innovative team. 
Child Support Specialist I is a great opportunity to begin a rewarding career with the County of Sonoma where you can enjoy the satisfaction of making a difference in your community.

To learn more about working in our Child Support Program as a Child Support Specialist (Civil Service title Child Support Officer), click here to view the Bay Area Region Child Support Collaborative video.

The Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services works directly with parents and legal guardians to establish paternity and ensure children and families receive court-ordered financial and medical support. 

As a Child Support Specialist I, you will learn policies, procedures, and relevant child support laws and regulations. As you learn and grow in the position, you will:

  • Establish, review, research, prepare, and monitor child support collection cases
  • Interview custodial and non-custodial parents
  • Compile information from documents, financial statements, and other appropriate sources regarding child support cases
  • Prepare legal documents
  • Prioritize and manage a large caseload while meeting mandated time frames and compliance standards

The ideal candidate will enjoy working with the public and possess:

  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills, in order to communicate effectively by phone, in person, and in writing
  • The ability to remain calm and assist individuals who may be uncooperative, confused, and/or frustrated with the system
  • Superb organization and prioritization skills, with a capacity to focus on complex tasks and projects with frequent interruptions in a fast-paced environment
  • Precise attention to detail

This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list.  The Civil Service Title for this position is Child Support Officer I.

Bilingual English/Spanish Skills: Although bilingual English/Spanish skills are not required for the current position, these skills are preferred for some Child Support Specialist I assignments. Applicants who wish to be considered for future bilingual positions must indicate their skill in the supplemental questionnaire. Prior to employment in a designated bilingual position, an examination will be conducted to confirm level of skill in this area. Bilingual premium pay is $1.15/hour.

What Makes Sonoma County a Great Choice

In addition to generous starting pay, expansive opportunities for growth and development, being part of a challenging and rewarding work environment that offers continuous training and education, and the satisfaction of knowing that you are working to better the communities of our region, you can look forward to some excellent benefits*, including:

  • A cash allowance of approximately $600 per month
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $500
  • Competitive vacation accruals, 12 holidays per year, and accommodating sick leave accruals
  • Significant County paid premium contribution to several health plan options

*Salary is negotiable commensurate with experience, salary history, and requirements. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.

Tentative Written Exam Date:
Thursday, October 15, 2019



Minimum Qualifications

Education: Academic course work which relates to knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, this would include courses in investigation, interviewing, paralegal or legal assistant and social and behavioral science.

Education and Experience: Education and/or experience which would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, completion of academic coursework in the social sciences, law, and other related fields and one year of experience involving contact with the public and reviewing or preparing legal-type documents or documentation in child support operations, collections, credit investigation, law enforcement or eligibility determination work, would provide such opportunity.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level, including necessary endorsements as required by the State of California to perform the essential job functions of the position. Special Qualifications: The ability to speak, read and write Spanish fluently may be required for certain job assignments.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working knowledge of: interviewing principles and techniques used for obtaining factual information; financial record keeping procedures; modern office practices and procedures, including use of various data processing systems and equipment.

Knowledge of: methods and techniques used in collections; common legal terminology, documents, and procedures used to enforce payment of funds.

Ability to: learn and apply federal, state or local laws, ordinances, codes, procedures and rules in order to secure current and delinquent child support payments and establish paternity; learn to process, organize, and prioritize a large caseload while maintaining legal time lines and due process standards; effectively interview individuals in order to secure information required for the collection of child support payments; recognize the needs, attitudes and problems of people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds; effectively locate individuals and research information on the whereabouts of non-custodial parents; make logical determinations from financial statements on the amount of child support payments; learn to monitor child support payment records to insure compliance with court orders; learn when and how to prepare and process appropriate legal documents; prepare correspondence and convey facts and information; serve legal documents; establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, co-workers, and public and private agency personnel; extract pertinent information from records; exercise independent judgment within general guidelines; prepare clear and concise written reports and memoranda; deal with stressful situations and hostile people; perform basic arithmetic calculations; effectively use data processing equipment and systems; analyze and interpret electronic information systems data.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.

Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the application, examination, and department selection processes.


Responses to supplemental questions will be scored using position-specific criteria. Please provide specific and detailed responses of a reasonable length to allow for thorough assessment of your qualifications. Responses which state "See Resume" or "See Application" may be considered insufficient and therefore may not be scored.

The selection procedure will consist of the following examinations:

1.  Each applicant's combination of educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities which relate to this position will be evaluated (pass/not pass) to ensure satisfaction of the minimum qualifications for this position.

2.  A multiple-choice, written examination (pass/not pass) will be conducted to further evaluate each candidate's qualifications as they relate to this position.  The written examination will measure the core knowledge, skills, and abilities for this position such as:
Applicants must attain a minimum passing grade of at least 70% on the written examination to be considered for the next step in the selection procedure.  The minimum passing score may be an adjusted score based on such factors as difficulty of the examination for this group of candidates, natural breaks in the scores achieved by this group of candidates, number of candidates, anticipated vacancies, and past practice.

Tentative Written Exam Date:
Thursday, October 15, 2019
3.  Candidates who pass the written examination will have their submissions evaluated in an Application and Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (weight 100%) for educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge and abilities which relate to this position. Each applicant will be scored based on the following criteria:
  • Relevance of work history, related experience, and achieved level of education and/or training as described in the application and responses to the supplemental questions

Scores may be adjusted based on factors as number of candidates, anticipated vacancies, past practice, and natural breaks in the scores achieved by this group of candidates. Applicants must attain a minimum passing score of at least 70%, as established by the pass point, to be placed on the employment list.

A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer are contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.

Applications are accepted on-line at: Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.
The County of Sonoma prioritizes and is committed to continuously providing a workplace where equal employment opportunity is afforded to all people. Please view the County's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy for further information.