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    HomeGovernmentSanta Barbara County Announces Appointment of Child Support Services Director

    Santa Barbara County Announces Appointment of Child Support Services Director

    The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approved the selection of Mette Richardson as the incoming Director of Child Support Services. Richardson will succeed Joni Maiden, who will retire from the position in January 2024. Richardson will officially assume her new role on January 8, 2024. The Director of Child Support Services oversees crucial operations related to parentage establishment and child support enforcement throughout Santa Barbara County, playing a vital role in Board initiatives.

    Richardson, a  public servant with nearly twenty years of experience, has been a part of the Department of Child Support Services since 2016. Her extensive service history includes roles in various departments within the County of Santa Barbara and positions in nearby cities and counties. Richardson’s experience also extends to her role as the Finance Director of the City of Grass Valley, where she played a key role in labor negotiations and implemented innovative payroll and human resource systems.

    In her current role as Assistant Director of the Department of Child Support Services, Richardson has demonstrated exceptional leadership. She provided direction and support to staff, collaborated with the Director, and contributed to the implementation of the department’s strategic vision and goals. Richardson played a crucial role in navigating the department through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring fiscal health, independence, and stability. Her efforts led to the implementation of cost-saving efficiencies across multiple departmental areas.

    Regarding her appointment, Richardson expressed her excitement, stating, “I am thrilled to lead our exceptional child support team at this critical juncture. State-level changes in the coming year present unprecedented opportunities to offer flexible, more customized child support services.”

    County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato expressed confidence in Richardson, saying, “Mette Richardson’s commitment to excellence, demonstrated through her accomplishments as Assistant Director, reflects her passion for public service. From her successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic to her leadership in implementing innovative technologies, Mette Richardson has proven herself as a dynamic and forward-thinking professional. We look forward to her continued contributions as the new Director of the Child Support Services Department.”

    Board Chair and First District Supervisor Das Williams added, “Mette Richardson comes to the role with extensive knowledge of County systems and programs, which will be invaluable as she helps lead the department through coming Countywide changes, such as the transition to Workday. We are confident in her commitment to improving the quality of life and creating opportunities for children through establishing and enforcing child support in our community.”

    Joni Maiden, who served as the Child Support Services Director for the past five years and has been with the department for 29 years, leaves a lasting legacy. Her tenure is marked by record high child support collections, increased service access through innovative initiatives, and a commitment to employee well-being and community partnerships.

    Miyasato added, “As Joni Maiden retires from her role at the Child Support Services Department, we extend heartfelt gratitude for her steadfast commitment over the past five years as director and an overall career spanning nearly three decades with the County. Director Maiden’s legacy is one of achievement, marked by her role in creating a culture of customer service, fostering workplace effectiveness, and achieving record-breaking departmental accomplishments. We thank her for her invaluable contributions and wish her a fulfilling and well-deserved retirement.”

    For information about the Santa Barbara County Child Support Services Department, go to Child Support Services | Santa Barbara County, CA – Official Website (countyofsb.org)

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