Hotline: 678-408-1354

DSHS Support Enforcement Officer 3

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Economic Services Administration (ESA) , Division of Child Support (DCS) is recruiting for a permanent Support Enforcement Officer 3 job in the Tribal Unit located in Tacoma, WA.

As a lead worker of the Tribal Unit, it is essential that employee be able to maintain and strengthen existing relationships with tribal stakeholders and understand, apply, and provide guidance on intergovernmental agreements and processes, tribal sovereignty and government-to-government relations.

As a designated lead worker, you will provide direction and training to lower level professional staff that collects, establishes, and enforces child and medical support in the Federal Title IV-D program of the Social Security Act, Washington State Child Support Laws and Policies. This includes auditing the work of other professional staff, developing training or improvement plans, training new staff and long-term staff, and developing procedures.

You will provide direct service to clients, establishing, modifying, and enforcing financial and medical child support obligations. A Support Enforcement Officer 3 (SEO3) works independently as the Department’s representative, making critical casework decisions such as initiating, preparing, signing, and serving administrative and legal support enforcement actions. A Support Enforcement Officer 3 has delegated authority to determine child support obligations and debt. In absence of supervisor/SEO 4, coordinates specific assigned duties.

Some of what you’ll be doing

  • Works with parents and/or their attorneys/advocates to establish child support obligations and potential sanctions which may be imposed should they not comply.
  • Meetings with these parents and/or advocates are often difficult, hostile, and/or emotionally charged. The SEO must maintain a professional approach at all times, using de-escalation skills as necessary during the course of the interview/meeting process.
  • As lead worker, trains staff in all aspects of child support collections/enforcement.
  • Reviews work and explains child support laws and procedures.
  • Maintains technical expertise amidst constant changes in laws, policies, and procedures in order to be a resource for the team.
  • Audits work and work flow of lower level professional staff to meet Federal and State guidelines and deadlines.
  • Assists supervisor/SEO 4 in developing and implementing training plans and performance management plans.
  • First line of contact for conflict resolution of debt and other child support related concerns of customers.
  • May work more difficult child support cases that could involve multiple jurisdictional or multi government and/or Tribal child support orders and debt periods.
  • Provides ongoing technical and interpretive assistance regarding policies and procedures to assigned staff and may provide backup coverage for team members who are absent.
  • Reviews and makes determination on child support distribution issues.
  • Independently establishes Administrative Child Support Orders by researching and locating income information, calculating financial and medical child support obligations, calculating arrears balances as required, preparing and serving legal notices, and negotiating settlements as appropriate;.
  • Analyzes, Interprets, and applies State, Federal, Tribal, and International laws pertaining to legal determination of paternity and establishment and enforcement of financial and medical child support.
  • Independently negotiates debt repayment terms by analyzing asset and financial information such as pay stubs, tax returns, business earnings, and proof of expenses.
  • Calculates complex financial and medical child care support obligations and arrearages.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Desired qualities:

  • Composure – To stay calm, poised and effective in stressful or difficult situations and maintain self-control.
  • Cultural Adaptability – To work and communicate effectively and harmoniously with persons of other cultures, value systems, political beliefs, and economic circumstances; to recognize and respect difference in new and different cultural environments.
  • Judgment – To discern what is appropriate, practical, and realistic in a given situation; to weigh relative merits of competing demands.
  • Oral Communication – To speak fluently in a concise, grammatically correct, organized, precise, and persuasive manner; to convey nuances of meaning accurately; to use appropriate styles of communication to fit the audience and purpose.
  • Working With Others – To interact in a constructive, cooperative, and harmonious manner; to work effectively as a team player; to establish positive relationships and gain the confidence of others.

What we are looking for:

Knowledge of:

  • State statutes and Federal regulations and policies
  • Federal case processing standards
  • Court decisions
  • Attorney General’s opinions
  • Departmental regulations relating to dependent children, obligor parents and other debtors
  • Legal rights and remedies in support enforcement, paternity proceedings and collection of accounts receivable
  • Techniques of interviewing, accounting and collection practices

Ability to:

  • Comprehend statutes, court decisions, departmental regulations and programs available to qualified applicants
  • Interview applicants to obtain all information necessary for support enforcement services using customer service skills
  • Write and speak clearly, concisely, accurately, professionally, and effectively
  • Learn and utilize computer systems , internet and imaging applications effectively

Who should apply?

Two years as Support Enforcement Officer in the State of Washington


Equivalent education/experience

Please attach the following to your online application:

Letter of Interest no more than two (2) pages describing (1) How do you see your role as a lead-worker influencing the overall productivity and morale of the team? and (2) Describe the lead-worker’s impact in fulfilling the mission of the Division of Child Support and achieving the goals of the office/division.

For questions about this job (04727), please contact Sharon Sterling at (360) 725-5861 or .


Some jobs may require full criminal background check. This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies. Employees driving on state business must have a valid driver’s license. Employees driving a privately owned vehicle on state business must have liability insurance on the privately owned vehicle.

Washington State Department of Social & Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protected veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Recruiter at (360) 725-5810. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

DSHS Support Enforcement Officer 3 Supplemental Questionnaire



Do you have two or more years of full-time work performing the duties of a Support Enforcement Officer in the state of Washington OR equivalent education/experience?



* Required Question

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