Family Court Reinstitutes Call Center
On June 1, 2012, the Family Court reinstituted the New Castle County Call Center. Its original Call Center was disbanded several years ago due to budgetary constraints. Family Court recognized a need to better serve the public in an efficient manner, and to provide a dedicated resource for litigants seeking court information via telephone without transferring calls to specific units within the Court.
The New Castle County Call Center was staffed by reallocating existing resources and with no additional cost to the Family Court. Four Judicial Case Processors, representing different areas of civil and criminal case processing, and one Social Service Specialist, representing the Court's intake unit, came together to staff the call center. Led by Ken Kelemen, the former Director of Pro Se Services, and supervised by Keean Williams, a Judicial Case Processor Supervisor, the Call Center team participated in two full weeks of training relating to customer service, legal advice, and all areas of the Family Court's jurisdiction. Ken Kelemen noted, "the Call Center not only provides quality service to the public but also optimizes the work environment for Court staff. We understand that for many, their interactions with the Court come at a difficult time in their lives. The goal of the Call Center is to provide information clearly and professionally. The Call Center accomplishes this goal each day, and does so with a smile. I am extremely proud to have been part of this initiative."
The Call Center has benefitted all areas of the Court and the public, largely by diverting phone calls from the overburdened Court's case processing staff and providing a dedicated staff whose sole purpose is to provide pertinent information to better prepare litigants for filing and court hearings. The focus of the Call Center has been on customer service and on continued improvement of Family Court's ability to alleviate problems arising from misinformation and a lack of awareness of court procedures. The Call Center responded to 4,726 calls during June 2012, its first month of operation. Since then, the number of calls has continued to increase, with the Center answering over 5,340 calls in August. Staff responds to calls on average within 31 seconds. Supervisor Keean Williams stated, "the Call Center is a way of showing the public that every call matters as we offer consistent and accurate information."