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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Office of Child Support

The Michigan Office of Child Support (OCS) is making diversity, equity, and inclusion a part of our culture. That includes moving towards claiming an anti-racist and multi-cultural identity. We lead our work explicitly though not exclusively with race because racial inequities have been baked into the creation and ongoing policies of all human services programs, including child support. Unless it is otherwise countered, racism operates at individual, institutional and structural levels and therefore is present everywhere. We also lead with race because we know if we can solve for racial inequities, we will also address other dimensions of identity that are marginalized. Advancing equity requires addressing all areas of marginalization and understanding the interconnected nature of what we are pushing against.

We are:
  • Building our capacity to address equity and inclusion in child support.
  • Reckoning with the ways this program has helped and harmed families throughout its history.
  • Envisioning new ways of being with each other and those we serve that are inclusive and increase understanding. 

Equity Impact Assessment Tool

Equity Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process that guides leaders to examine the full implications of programs, policies, procedures and other decisions on marginalized populations. The tool is a process used in decision-making that follows a list of formalized steps to intentionally identify and reduce potential harm for racial/ethnic minorities and other marginalized populations by engaging authentically with priority populations and stakeholders to co-create and increase equitable outcomes. It offers an opportunity to reduce and eliminate racial/health disparities, enact harm reduction, and advance equity for all.

Steps in the tool include proposal, data, community engagement, analysis & strategies, implementation, accountability and communication.

OCS has adopted MDHHS’s accepted EIA Tool. OCS’s work continues in an effort to help mitigate unintended and intended negative consequences and enhance positive ones in the development of its policies and programs.

Child Support Community Advisory Council

Since February 2021, Michigan's Office of Child Support (OCS) has hosted the Community Advisory Council that it formed to help make sure the office is fair and works for everyone. Creation of this council is a part of OCS efforts to operationalize the EIA Tool and promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Even the most thoughtful policy can have unintended consequences to underserved communities. OCS needs the feedback of parents and caregivers who both receive and pay child support to help make Michigan’s Child Support Program even better. Participation on the Council offers an opportunity to review and provide input on policy.

For more information on the Community Advisory Committee, please email KernsK@michigan.gov

View the Community Advisory Council Charter. 

 

Highlights/Accomplishments

  • An improved process for handling child support program complaints.
  • Greater sensitivity in the wording the OCS uses to refer to the Michiganders the program serves. The office is moving toward referring to "case members, program participants, parents and caregivers" instead of "customers" or other terms.
  • Changes to ensure the advisory council is aware of the OCS's projects and initiatives and to provide an opportunity for input by council members.
  • The Council issued a recommendation to OCS suggesting navigation assistance to the communities it serves.

In the News

MDHHS Child Support Advisory Council drives change in dept; Diverse membership providing input to ensure fairness and transparency

Child support community advisory committee being formed