Child Support Division Needs Updated Mailing Addresses

NEW CASTLE (Nov. 13, 2019) – In early 2020, the Delaware Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) will be teaming up with U.S. Bank to issue a new prepaid debit card, the U.S. Bank ReliaCard®, for child support recipients to receive their payments electronically. The ReliaCard will replace the current First State Family Card.

In order to ensure timely mailing of the new ReliaCard to child support recipients, the Division of Child Support Services is urging customers to verify that their Social Security number, date of birth, and their most current street address are on file by contacting DCSS.

“For our customers to continue to receive timely payments, and for a smooth transition to the ReliaCard, it is extremely important for us to have their current street addresses,” said Ted Mermigos, director of the Division of Child Support Services. “As U.S. Bank offers exceptional customer service and has a proven track record in the child support prepaid card space, we believe they are the right partner to make our new program a success.”

Delawareans with a child support case can send a change of address to the Division of Child Support Services at PO Box 15012, Wilmington, DE 19850. Customers can verify their address or make a change by calling and speaking with a child support specialist, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Those numbers:

  • In New Castle County, call 302-577-7171.
  • In Kent County, call 302-739-8299.
  • In Sussex County, call 302-856-5386.

The Division of Child Support Services’ Automated Assistance Line also is available 24/7 with information in both English and Spanish. Customers will need their case number when they call.
To learn more, visit DCSS’s website: https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dcse/


DPH Announces Potential Young Child Death From Flu

Dover – Even as flu season in Delaware is winding down, the Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing a potential flu-related death to a child under the age of 2. If confirmed, that would bring the total number of flu-related fatalities for the 2016-2017 flu season to 15. The child passed away near the end of April. To protect the privacy of the child and the family no further information about the child will be released.

“The death of a child is tragic under any circumstances, and our hearts and prayers go out to the child’s family during this very difficult time,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Services. “We hope that by sharing this information, we can reach other parents with a reminder that influenza is still circulating in the community and young children, particularly those under age two, are especially at risk if they contract the virus.”

“The influenza virus can continue to circulate even during the summer months,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “It is important that everyone, and especially those in high-risk groups like young children, continue to take precautions. If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, you should immediately consult your doctor, especially if you have underlying health conditions, are under age 5, over age 65 or pregnant.”

As of the week ending April 29, there were 26 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza reported among Delaware residents with a total of 4,525 cases for the season. Of the 4,525 cases, 810 were ages 4 and under. Thirty-seven children ages 4 or under have also been hospitalized due to the flu.

Of the laboratory-confirmed flu cases this season, 2,159 (47.7 percent) involved infected individuals are from New Castle County, 1,374 (30.4 percent) are from Kent County, and 992 (21.9 percent) are from Sussex County. These numbers reflect lab-confirmed cases and the actual number of illnesses is likely much higher.

Precautions against the flu continue to be vital, including:

  • Vaccination.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after you cough, sneeze, or touch your face.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and disposing of the tissue immediately. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet.
  • Staying home when sick and not returning to work or school until you are fever-free for 24 hours.
  • Ensuring all your loved ones are vaccinated against the flu.
  • Taking anti-virals as prescribed by your doctor.

If you are receiving treatment in a long-term care facility or in-home care, ask if the staff is vaccinated against the flu and if not, be certain all non-vaccinated staff members wear a mask at all times. Visits at home or in a facility should be limited if the visitor is under age 16, has the flu, or is at risk of exposure to the flu. The illness can be transmitted prior to someone showing symptoms. If you are living with a senior and a family member contracts the flu, keep the two separate as much as possible and ensure everyone in the home follows sanitary precautions.

DPH recommends that people with flu-like illnesses call — not visit — their medical providers, who may be able to prescribe anti-viral medications by phone.

For more information on influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment, visit flu.delaware.gov or call DPH at 800-282-8672.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Injury Leading Cause of Child Deaths in Delaware

Help Your Children Have a Safe Spring and Summer

DOVER – Spring and summer months often mean a more active lifestyle for families. The Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages Delawareans to be active and have fun, but also be smart and protect yourself and loved ones from injury. Unintentional injuries—such as those caused by falls, traffic incidents, burns, drowning, and poisoning—are the leading cause of death and injury in Delaware and the U.S. To learn more on how to protect your child from unintentional injuries, visit the Delaware Coalition for Injury Prevention at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ems/injuryprevention.html.

“Lives are changed forever by injuries, many of which could have been prevented or made less serious by using injury prevention measures on a regular basis,” said DPH Division Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Things like adult supervision when swimming, biking or playing; always using a car seat or seatbelt; wearing a helmet while biking, roller skating or skateboarding; and avoiding unknown animals, can protect our children. And, keeping children away from fireworks, matches, hot stoves, and chemicals can prevent life-threatening burns and poisonings.”

Delaware Trauma System Registry statistics show that in 2013, 586 Delaware children and adolescents were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every 4 seconds a child is treated for an injury in an emergency department. Injuries due to transportation are the leading cause of injury-related death for children. There are also a substantial number of pedestrian and cycling deaths, and drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4. Injuries can occur across all spectrums of everyday life, and in many cases are preventable.

“Preventable injuries are the number one killer of children ages 1 to 19 in the United States. But how many people know that? And how many people believe it would never happen to them?” said Kate Carr, CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “The reality is a child dies almost every hour from a preventable injury. Millions more are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime. These are more than statistics. They represent real and devastating tragedies for families and communities. Yet we can change this outcome. We can give parents the information and resources they need to create an environment where their children can thrive.”

The good news is that national death rates among children and adolescents declined nearly 30 percent in the last decade, according to the CDC. This is a success story showing that injury prevention programs and policies are making a difference and saving lives. But there is still much work to do in continuing to save the lives of children. As stated by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop, “If a disease were killing our children at the rate unintentional injuries are, the public would be outraged and demand that this killer be stopped.”

DPH encourages everyone to take an active role in injury prevention for the youth of Delaware. The DPH Office of Emergency Medical Services has served as the lead agency for Delaware Safe Kids since 1992. With active coalitions in all three counties, Delaware Safe Kids has been a driving force in raising awareness and education on childhood injury prevention. For more information or to become involved with Delaware Safe Kids, contact the program office at safekids@delaware.gov.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

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Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Delaware Health and Social ServicesDivision of Public Health