We are delighted to announce that our physical office is re-opening to our existing and new clients. To provide safety to both our clients and staff, we are adapting the CDC guidelines for social distancing while we are in the yellow phase. Rest assured, that we have and will continue to regularly clean all areas of the office especially the high-traffic areas. All attorneys and staff will have their temperature taken daily and will be wearing masks when interacting with clients. Any attorneys and staff with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will work remotely. They will then be required to follow CDCrecommended steps, including not returning to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

As the health and safety of our clients and their families is our top priority, we are asking that our clients follow the procedures below during the yellow phase:

  1. Upon entering the building, we ask that all persons wash their hands or hand-sanitize. We will be providing access to soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  2. We will also be taking temperatures with non-contact thermometers upon entering the office.
  3. Our office is set-up to comply with social distancing of six feet. In the conference and mediation rooms we are asking that each person sit a minimum of one chair apart from attorneys and/or staff at all times.
  4. Masks are available and will be provided open request.
  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
  6. We will continue to have the drop-box available for delivery of documents.

In the event that anyone is sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your appointment or utilize the electronic forums listed above.

As each county determines the procedures that will be followed, please ask your attorney of the specific procedures regarding the county in which your case in pending.

Please note that we will also continue to accommodate the needs of new clients, who are welcome, and as always we encourage and appreciate referrals. During this uncertain and unprecedented time, please stay safe and remember that Sweeney Law Office, LLC will remain by your side for all of your family’s legal needs. We ask that you have patience during this challenging time.

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Pennsylvania uses texting to remind parents to pay child support

The state of Pennsylvania considers texting to be a good thing, when it comes to child support that is. The state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) uses text messages to remind parents when they may have missed a child support payment, to inform those in need of work of area job fairs and to provide other information that may be useful to the state’s residents. This method of communication has proved successful and has increased child support collection by over 30 percent statewide.

DHS finds that it is able to reach many more people with texting than with the automated-calling system that was in place previously. Texting is also cheaper and less time consuming than the land-line alternative. Because of changing or discontinued numbers, it could take several calls to reach a client. If the caller had to leave a message, he or she could never be sure the intended recipient received it. With the new system, the message delivery rate is close to 100 percent after just the first attempt.

The nearly 6,000 texts that are sent out on any given day concern topics from one of five categories the agency has included in the program. Although these messages do not only address reminders about child support payments, the state is experiencing a growth of almost 30 percent in collections. The agency says statewide amounts for child support per month have increased by $1 million, which they attribute to using the text messaging system that was implemented in 2013.

The state of Pennsylvania is open to using the latest technology available to collect child support from parents. Other than text messages, the state has a website that provides answers to questions and shows payment history for each case. It is the goal of the mass communication effort to reach as many parents as possible so that the state’s custodial parents will have the income required to meet the needs of their children.

Source: poconorecord.com, “Article Preview: Pennsylvania text reminders increase child support compliance“, Stacy M. Brown, Jan. 23, 2015


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