May 2022 CSQ

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Table of Contents<br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

President’s Message……………………………………………………………………… 3<br />

Community Corner: Tribal Child Support: A Full Circle………….…………….……....5<br />

Reimagining Possibilities and Elevating the Child Support Experience……………...8<br />

An Exciting Overview of Highly Effective Child Support Training Programs……….13<br />

How Courts Responded to the Pandemic……………………………………………...21<br />

Value Stream Mapping…………………………………………………………………..30<br />

Policy Forum Wrap Up………………………………………......................................36<br />

NCSEA U Alumni Spotlight……………………………………………………………….42<br />

NCSEA On Location: And So It Began………………………………………………….43

Lori Bengston<br />

NCSEA President<br />

Hello!<br />

It seems as if <strong>2022</strong> just started and just like that it is April. As I write this<br />

article, we are springing ahead into daylight savings time, and I look<br />

forward to the longer, warmer days! I am anxious for the spring weather,<br />

but before we say goodbye to winter, I would like to reflect a moment on<br />

the tremendous success of the Policy Forum held in February. For those of<br />

you able to join in person, it was good to see you again, and for those who<br />

joined virtually, it was nice that you could be with us from afar. I was thrilled<br />

with this year’s co-chairs, Connie Chesnik and Margot Bean, and how they,<br />

along with their committee, really brought the theme of “Focusing on our<br />

Vision – Recognizing our Perspectives” to life! I received a lot of positive<br />

feedback on the content and the way each day built upon the last. It was an<br />

informative and thought-provoking conference, and it left us with a lot to<br />

consider on our way home.<br />

Spring ahead and the <strong>2022</strong> Leadership Symposium is in full swing under<br />

the capable direction of the conference chairs, Carla West, Phyllis Nance,<br />

and Linda Rhyne-McKinley. The Leadership Symposium will be held<br />

August 7-10 at the Westin in Charlotte, North Carolina. The theme will be<br />

“Level Up…Transforming Tomorrow’s Leaders.” I hope you can join us for<br />

this event, which will give us a wonderful opportunity to “level up” our<br />

leadership skills. In keeping with the energy created at Policy Forum, we<br />

will be looking at a variety of not only workshops and plenaries, but also<br />

learning labs that will provide opportunities to put what we learn into action<br />

and have some fun! Once again, NCSEA will focus on providing content<br />

from a variety of perspectives to continue our commitment to diversity. So,<br />

start making plans now and register today.

We realize that not everyone can attend conferences, so NCSEA offers<br />

many opportunities to learn and connect with other child support<br />

professionals, including a variety of Web Talks, NCSEA Connect events,<br />

publications such as the Rapid Read and the Child Support Quarterly<br />

(<strong>CSQ</strong>), along with social media posts on Twitter and Facebook, and<br />

NCSEA’s On Location podcasts. To learn more about how you can take<br />

advantage of these offerings, visit the NCSEA website at www.ncsea.org.<br />

Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank the committee co-chairs<br />

and members for all the work they have done so far this year. I always<br />

knew a lot of amazing work happened at the committee level, but not until I<br />

was President, and able to pop in on committee calls, did I realize just how<br />

much! The passion and enthusiasm of members is evident in each<br />

committee, and the work that they are producing is impactful and shaping<br />

the future of the program. We are fortunate to have so many child support<br />

professionals with the experience, creativity, and energy to keep moving<br />

our program forward, always with the goal of serving families to the best of<br />

our ability.<br />

There are lots of exciting things on the horizon, so please take advantage<br />

of the programs and events that NCSEA offers so you can stay informed.<br />

Our collective voice matters and staying engaged is the best way to make<br />

the biggest impact and provide the diverse thinking that is critical now more<br />

than ever.<br />

NCSEA is always on the move—whether we are springing forward or<br />

leveling up, you can count on NCSEA to be at the forefront of new ideas<br />

and best practices to transform the child support program. We hope you<br />

will join us on the ride!<br />

_________________________________________<br />

In addition to serving as NCSEA President, Lori Bengston is a Project Manager for<br />

Young Williams and has been active in the child support enforcement program for over<br />

16 years. She has direct supervision of the Nebraska Child Support Call Center,<br />

including the Early Intervention Project. Lori has been a speaker at many child support<br />

conferences on the topics of customer service, call centers, and early intervention. Lori<br />

has been active in NCSEA for many years, previously serving on the Board from 2007-<br />

2013. She is a Past President of the Western Intergovernmental Child Support<br />

Engagement Council (WICSEC) and the Nebraska Child Support Enforcement<br />

Association Board of Directors.


The Past, The Present, and The Future<br />

by Sandy Cloer, President & Marsha<br />

Harlan, Immediate Past President<br />

National Tribal Child Support Association<br />

(NTCSA)<br />

Forty-seven years ago, in 1975, Congress created the child support<br />

enforcement program so that states could ensure parents met their<br />

financial responsibility for their children. Twenty-one years later, Congress<br />

amended the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation<br />

Act of 1996 (PRWORA). This amendment authorized federal funding to<br />

Indian tribes or tribal organizations for the purpose of operating a child<br />

support enforcement program with the objectives of locating absent<br />

parents, establishing paternity and support orders, as well as modifying and<br />

enforcing those orders.<br />

Over the last two decades, tribes have become very accomplished<br />

regarding child support enforcement. Of course, much of the groundwork<br />

for success was laid long before Congress amended PRWORA via the<br />

Balanced Budget Act of 1997, as Tribal Courts were already independently<br />

ordering and enforcing child support. Some tribes, however, were unable to<br />

process their cases in Tribal Courts as their programs were managed<br />

under the states and therefore child support cases were handled in those<br />

state courts. When federal funding initially became available to Tribes, the<br />

gravity of the program was placed on the necessity to alleviate public<br />

assistance programs; however, it did not take long for Tribes to determine<br />

that the most primary need for child support was, and still is, to support our

most precious assets by allowing our children to enjoy the same socioeconomic<br />

footing as their non-Indian counterparts.<br />

Today, 60 tribes/tribal entities operate federally funded child support<br />

enforcement programs. For fiscal year <strong>2022</strong>, $54.7 million was allocated for<br />

tribal child support enforcement programs. This is an increase of $2.3<br />

million from the previous year. By having these programs, tribes have<br />

ensured that tribal children have equal opportunities as their non-native<br />

peers. Our children have become more involved socially with their nonnative<br />

peers than they have been in the past.<br />

Tribes that operate child support enforcement programs have had some<br />

challenges. Some tribes have struggled with automated systems to monitor<br />

their programs. Smaller tribes do not have the resources to invest in large<br />

systems that can do this for them. Coming up with the non-federal share of<br />

their budget has also been a challenge, as well as training opportunities<br />

and housing a program.<br />

In addition, tribes have not been allowed some of<br />

the tools available to state programs. It has only<br />

been in the past few years that tribes have been<br />

able to access the Federal Parent Locator<br />

System (FPLS). Further, tribes are not permitted<br />

to offset individual state and federal taxes. While<br />

a huge collection tool for states, this exclusion is an immense barrier for<br />

tribal programs. Fortunately, legislation is finally in Congress to allow tribes<br />

to use federal tax offset. The Tribal Child Support Enforcement Act (S. 534)<br />

has passed the Senate and is now waiting in the House. We are closer<br />

than we have ever been before to having the same tools as state child<br />

support programs.<br />

Even though there have been challenges, much credit for the positive<br />

achievements of tribes is simply due to the collaboration between states<br />

and tribal programs as well as their respective judiciaries. Once tribes and<br />

states started to work together as a matter of routine, it became obvious<br />

that our efforts had long lasting positive impacts on our tribal communities,<br />

which in turn affected the entire community.<br />

Tribes have learned best practices from state child support programs. We<br />

have had an opportunity to learn from their lessons and to lean on them for

support as we begin new initiatives. Congress has created more stringent<br />

guidelines for federally funded state programs; however, the legislature<br />

also provides substantial tools that haven’t always been available to tribal<br />

programs. Over the last several years, OCSE has begun providing training<br />

resources and tools to tribes.<br />

By working together, we have historically been able to consolidate our<br />

efforts to insure the most effective impact for all our children.<br />

Sandy Cloer is Director of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, and<br />

the current President of the National Tribal Child Support Association (NTCSA).<br />

Marsha Harlan is a partner in the firm of Legal Advocates for Indian Country, LLP and<br />

served as President of NTCSA from 2017-2021.

Reimagining Possibilities<br />

and Elevating the Child<br />

Support Experience<br />

by <strong>May</strong>ra Marquez,Senior Manager,<br />

Deloitte and Chelsea Rios,<br />

Consultant, Deloitte<br />

The past two years have served as a catalyst for change for the future of<br />

child support programs. Organizations across the country are reevaluating<br />

their interconnected processes, technology, and structures to sustain their<br />

operations and mission. As child support organizations continue to adapt to<br />

shifting needs of customers, they must evaluate all aspects of their<br />

organization and consider new ways of thinking and approaching their<br />

work. They must continually ask: What should we invest in to reimagine<br />

possibilities and elevate the future of Child Support programs so that<br />

people - families, staff, constituents – and their varied experiences are at<br />

the center of all that we do? Organizations today have the unique<br />

opportunity to capitalize on the current momentum for change to drive<br />

meaningful impact; it’s more than just adapting, it’s about elevating. It’s<br />

time to elevate the child support experience.<br />

Leading with Human-Centered Design<br />

As child support organizations continue along the journey of organizational<br />

change, they can lead with a<br />

human-centered approach to<br />

keep the experience of staff,<br />

customers, and constituents at<br />

the center of their day-to-day<br />

work. Human-Centered Design<br />

(HCD), a research-based<br />

methodology which blends<br />

design, strategy, research, and

entrepreneurial thinking, brings the human being into focus by starting with<br />

the premise that individuals’ beliefs, values, feelings, and ambitions are<br />

important because they form the foundation for who they are and what they<br />

want from the organizations with which they engage. HCD can be applied<br />

in multiple scenarios—whether an organization is designing a new<br />

technology system, updating key processes, or developing new services.<br />

Defining and driving change with workers and customers (as opposed<br />

to implementing changes to them) is essential to HCD and helps promote a<br />

greater level of adoption, ownership, and impact for the process,<br />

technology, and structural changes that await the future of child support.<br />

We’ve seen a clear focus on the human experiences of workers, families,<br />

and constituents during recent strategy sessions, surveys, and a futurefocused<br />

hackathon with child support leaders and employees. These<br />

discussions have also revealed priorities that child support organizations<br />

are focusing on now and as they continue to adapt and transform both the<br />

workforce and customer experience.<br />

Rethinking the Workforce Experience<br />

One key theme we’ve heard from child support leaders and employees is<br />

that an investment in the workforce is necessary for child support<br />

organizations to continue to accomplish their missions despite<br />

shifting contexts and customer needs. Leaders and employees report<br />

that serving the future customer as a modernized organization requires retraining,<br />

re-skilling, and re-structuring of internal processes and culture. For<br />

example, the onset of the pandemic offered both an opportunity and a<br />

necessity for child support organizations to pave new paths of collaboration<br />

and communication across once-siloed departments in their organizations.<br />

We’ve engaged regional child support program teams who have committed<br />

to establishing collaboration channels using virtual tools for crossdepartmental<br />

communication and customer issue resolution. What were<br />

once silos are now avenues for increased collaboration, partnership, and<br />

innovation. Some organizations have used similar virtual tools to quickly<br />

coordinate language services across regions and departments in real-time,<br />

increasing accessibility to their diverse customer base. However, from this<br />

innovation also comes a renewed need for updated training, processes,<br />

and structures for the workforce that powers it. In order to fully realize the

enefits of continuous innovation, opportunity, and impact, organizations<br />

must intentionally invest in their workforce.<br />

Child support organizations can foster<br />

further adaptability, skillsets, and<br />

productivity within their workforce by<br />

proactively investing in their workforce’s<br />

training, resources, and career<br />

development opportunities. Several<br />

child support teams we’ve engaged with<br />

have suggested the launch of new<br />

education and learning resources through a leadership academy model,<br />

aiming to strengthen the skills of leaders and employees so that they may<br />

better navigate and thrive in the hybrid environment. With this support, child<br />

support workers are better equipped to drive their own professional<br />

development, learning opportunities, and career paths, therefore increasing<br />

the positive impact they have on the customer. Similarly, several child<br />

support organizations are empowering workers to drive their own learning<br />

through online course providers that helps organizations develop workforce<br />

skills through self-paced learning opportunities.<br />

Using Technology to Meet the Customer Where They Are<br />

To truly reimagine the future of child support programs and elevate the<br />

experience of customers, child support organizations should meet<br />

customers where they are, understand their needs and concerns, and<br />

respond appropriately and timely. While this approach may seem simple, it<br />

involves a thorough assessment of sometimes multiple different customer<br />

service interaction points.<br />

Child support organizations must first consider how they are sourcing and<br />

analyzing the voice of the customer. Customer feedback comes from<br />

many mediums today, including social media, traditional focus groups and<br />

interviews, feedback surveys, and data analytics. Organizations should<br />

consider the power of both qualitative feedback and real-time, proactive<br />

data analytics to provide the widest representation of feedback from their<br />

impacted stakeholders. An example of this includes the launch of more<br />

adaptable and data-based feedback forums (e.g., chat bots, customer<br />

service helplines, website sentiment surveys, etc.) to not only capture<br />

stakeholder comments and concerns, but to disseminate the findings real-

time to appropriate parties. Once organizations have established the forum<br />

for this feedback, they must then consider how they may consistently track,<br />

analyze, and assess the changing needs and preferences of customers.<br />

Once the data is analyzed, organizations are better equipped to make datadriven<br />

decisions to further expand and adapt services, mediums, and<br />

interaction points with the people at the center of the experience.<br />

As child support organizations assess and<br />

react to the voices of their customers,<br />

assessing their needs, preferences, and<br />

overall experience, they must then ask, “What<br />

new, convenient, and innovative ways can we<br />

provide to meet the needs of the customer<br />

in a hybrid environment?” This evaluation is<br />

critical as customers of today have varying<br />

internet and connectivity, language, and accessibility needs. For example,<br />

many organizations have shifted to virtual court hearings to meet a wider<br />

range of their customer base. In fact, these virtual connection opportunities<br />

have proven to increase the availability and accessibility for many<br />

customers to attend court. Child support organizations must also explore<br />

and reimagine how they communicate information and resources to<br />

customers across the hybrid environment. For example, many teams we’ve<br />

interacted with in the field have shared their interest for more automation<br />

around notifications and just-in-time resources to clarify the child support<br />

process and expectations. Additionally, other teams have expressed their<br />

desire for increased self-service functionality for customers to conveniently<br />

upload documents, receive status on their case, and more. These<br />

technology-powered innovations will not only help to streamline processes<br />

and reduce employee workload, but also increase the quality and time for<br />

human-centric interaction points. However, with these innovations in mind,<br />

it is important to, again, meet the customer where they are.<br />

Through the process of innovation and change, child support organizations<br />

must continually provide equitable services to all they serve and with<br />

whom they partner. While virtual mediums have proven convenient for<br />

some, other customers face internet, accessibility, and financial limitations.<br />

Child support organizations can best support their entire customer base by

adopting true hybrid customer interaction<br />

points. For example, some organizations<br />

have opted to set up self-service kiosks in<br />

customer-service buildings. While these<br />

kiosks and the buildings themselves may<br />

have reduced staff, the kiosks provide a<br />

one-stop shop for those who need an<br />

internet connection or simply prefer the<br />

in-person experience. As organizations focus on “right-sizing” their physical<br />

buildings and service opportunities, they have the opportunity to realize<br />

increased productivity and satisfaction from both customers and<br />

employees.<br />

Where We Start<br />

Reimagining the future of child support<br />

programs is an ongoing process and<br />

investment in time, financial resources,<br />

creativity, and dedication. However, the<br />

future of child support can also begin<br />

today with each individual involved in<br />

the process. As partners, employees,<br />

and leaders in this community we must<br />

finally ask ourselves: How we can use the technology, tools, and resources<br />

to magnify the human-centricity of our own interaction points throughout the<br />

process? The possibilities are unlimited.<br />

<strong>May</strong>ra Marquez is an experienced change leader who works with state and local<br />

government organizations on their most complex transformation challenges. She has<br />

led change, culture, and organizational design work with organizations across the US.<br />

Her current work focuses on helping government organizations prepare for and<br />

transition to the future of work. Additionally, <strong>May</strong>ra has experience working with<br />

research institutions and nonprofits on communication planning/implementation and<br />

stakeholder management.<br />

Chelsea Rios has experience working closely with child support organization teams,<br />

specifically through organization and stakeholder strategy. Chelsea specializes in<br />

change management and stakeholder engagement and is energized to help child<br />

support organizations reimagine how they can amplify their impact.

An Exciting Overview of Highly Effective<br />

Child Support Training Programs<br />

by Daryl Baker, PhD, University of Oklahoma, Center for Public<br />

Management<br />

Laurel Eaton, Project Coordinator, University of Oklahoma, Center for<br />

Public Management<br />

Joyce Match, Deloitte Consulting LLP<br />

Karen Winkler, Director, Bucks County Domestic Relations Section<br />

The adage “You don’t know what you don’t know” makes a dedicated<br />

training program essential for all staff within many organizations, including<br />

child support agencies. Any effective training program requires an<br />

investment of time and resources to produce well-trained staff who feel<br />

empowered to work independently. In her four-year study on the type of<br />

learning environment that best helps adult learners grow and develop,<br />

Dorothy Billington, PhD., documented key factors of the Seven<br />

Characteristics of Highly Effective Adults Learning Programs i . The<br />

characteristics may be summarized as:<br />

1. A safe, supportive student environment<br />

2. An environment fostering intellectual freedom<br />

3. A peer-to-peer student faculty environment<br />

4. Optimal pacing for participants<br />

5. Active participant involvement in the learning process<br />

6. Self-directed learning, where students take responsibility for their<br />

learning, and<br />

7. Regular feedback from students to faculty<br />

This article looks at three child support training programs and aligns them<br />

to characteristics of effective adult learning that make these programs<br />

successful.<br />

Oklahoma Training Program and Child Support Certification<br />

In 1994, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support<br />

Services (OKDHS-CSS) began its training partnership with the University of<br />

Oklahoma, Center for Public Management (OU-CPM). The partnership

egan with video production of training classes and the development of inperson<br />

training sites. Over the years, the partnership with OU-CPM<br />

services has steadily grown and the CSS Training Program run by OKDHS-<br />

CSS has been significantly enhanced to include:<br />

• Training and related instruction for all components of the Oklahoma<br />

Child Support Services training program in collaboration with the CSS<br />

program field representatives, OU-CPM instructional designers and<br />

curriculum developers, who share the development and instruction of<br />

courses. This includes training in OKDHS-CSS policy, functional<br />

procedures, core soft skills, as well as instruction on the Oklahoma<br />

State Information System (OSIS).<br />

• The Child Support Specialist Certification Program works to ensure a<br />

high standard for the management of child support cases through<br />

worker assessments and evaluation of skills, following a standard<br />

approach. The affiliation with the University of Oklahoma provides<br />

access to resources that make the program exceptional. Individuals<br />

must apply to participate in the Certification Program, and workers<br />

receive monetary compensation for completing different segments of<br />

the program.<br />

• In addition, OU-CPM provides support for:<br />

o Instructional design, curriculum development, and updates<br />

o Updates to the <strong>CSQ</strong>uest website, the essential online learning<br />

library for child support professionals which contains training<br />

tools to help employees in their daily work. This website<br />

became a lifesaver during the pandemic, as it reflected the<br />

rapid changes being made to the program.<br />

o Web-based training through the Oklahoma Learning<br />

Management System (LMS) and other means<br />

o Training sites/facilities systems<br />

o Training research and evaluation<br />

o Project management and coordination<br />

Currently, the Oklahoma LMS offers 76 CSS-specific courses for staff,<br />

most of which are conducted virtually:<br />

• 31 different instructor-led courses are taught multiple times<br />

throughout a given year by subject matter experts (SMEs). Twentythree<br />

of the instructor-led courses use pre- and post-testing to<br />

measure learning.<br />

• 10 large learning events where staff are brought together in large<br />

groups 1 to 4 times per year depending on the group. These events

serve as professional development for office staff, supervisors,<br />

managers, and attorneys from around the state.<br />

• 26 self-paced courses that are available to employees at any time.<br />

Courses cover a variety of topics such as job-specific trainings, IT<br />

security, safeguarding IRS tax information, and wellness.<br />

• 9 on-line course certifications available to employees who participate<br />

in the Child Support Certification Program<br />

In addition to exclusively developed Child Support classes, learning<br />

opportunities are provided under the overarching Oklahoma Human<br />

Services division requirements. In 2021, the CSS Center for Professional<br />

Development facilitated over 757 hours of training to Child Support<br />

employees. Since 2020, there have been over 16,598 enrollments in CSS<br />

courses.<br />

The Certification Program consists of four core assessments (Case<br />

Fundamentals, Communications, Ethics, and Medical), four functional<br />

assessments (Enforcement, Establishment, Finance, and<br />

Intergovernmental), and a Recertification assessment. Since the inception<br />

of the program 18 years ago, over 4,800<br />

assessments have been administered, with<br />

the number per year trending upward over<br />

the past four years. In 2021, 225<br />

assessments were administered. As of<br />

December 1, 2021, 49% (122) of the filled<br />

CSS positions (248 child support specialists)<br />

are participating in the Certification Program,<br />

with 52 people fully certified and 70 people<br />

certified in at least one specialized area.<br />

Victoria Harrison, CSS Assistant Division Director, Center for Professional<br />

Development, says, “Our OU-CPM training partners are more than<br />

partners, they are our peers and are critical to the mission of our program<br />

and our professional work standards. Our partnership allows Child Support<br />

trainers to focus on being subject matter experts and content deliverers<br />

while OU-CPM focuses on details like space, effective learning<br />

methodology and accessibility rules.”

Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement Training Institute<br />

For more than 20 years, Pennsylvania State University has partnered with<br />

the Pennsylvania Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) and the<br />

Domestic Relations Association of Pennsylvania (DRAP) to provide<br />

comprehensive training to child support workers through the Pennsylvania<br />

Child Support Enforcement Training Institute (PACSETI). PACSETI<br />

provides:<br />

• Training and related instruction for all facets of the Title IV-D Child<br />

Support Enforcement (CSE) Program, including basic instruction in<br />

the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System (PACSES).<br />

Most courses allow for self-registration and can be taken at any time<br />

for initial or refresher learning.<br />

• Curriculum development and curriculum updates<br />

• Updates to the online Child Support Program Manual (CSPM)<br />

• Web-based training, including worker assessments and training<br />

evaluations<br />

• On-site and/or customized training on request<br />

• Project management<br />

In 2021, PACSETI served more than 2,200 child support workers through<br />

more than 300 trainings and more than 18,000 course enrollments. During<br />

the pandemic, PACSETI developed 67 new training products and revised<br />

120 training offerings through curriculum restructure and development.<br />

Pennsylvania’s focus on providing accessible, thorough training has helped<br />

Pennsylvania to consistently rank as a top performer in the Federal<br />

Performance Measures, including currently<br />

having the highest ranking for the Current<br />

Support collections measure. Jaylene<br />

Bowers, Division Director for the Bureau of<br />

Child Support Enforcement, says, “PACSETI<br />

provides critical support for BCSE’s mission<br />

to ensure that Pennsylvania families are<br />

served by professional and knowledgeable<br />

child support staff, and the training helps ensure that child support<br />

guidelines and enforcement remedies are applied equitably statewide.”<br />

PACSETI’s success in Pennsylvania can be largely attributed to five<br />

hallmarks of the program:

1. PACSETI designs, develops, delivers, and evaluates all its training<br />

products to ensures a high standard of accuracy and consistency<br />

across online and written materials, instruction, and messaging of the<br />

faculty. Instructors all have direct work experience within the<br />

Pennsylvania child support system, and include former county field<br />

workers, managers, directors, and attorneys. PACSETI relies on input<br />

and feedback from its partners to ensure customer satisfaction.<br />

2. There is no cost to the individual Pennsylvania counties to participate<br />

in training. Enrollment in all classes is free, and there is no limit to the<br />

number of times an employee can retake courses to review and<br />

reinforce key program points. PACSETI retains a history of the<br />

courses an individual takes over their lifetime so that it can be used<br />

as a guide for selection or assignment of additional courses.<br />

3. In addition to providing structured online learning, a county can<br />

request that PACSETI create an independent learning experience to<br />

train an individual for a particular position unique to that county.<br />

Instructors tap into their own experience and expertise to focus on the<br />

skills necessary to be learned or strengthened to successfully fulfill<br />

the individual’s job responsibilities.<br />

4. PACSETI quickly adapts to organizational learning needs. PACSETI<br />

must develop and update courses immediately to address changes in<br />

Pennsylvania’s statewide computer system and programmatic or<br />

legislative shifts. This relieves the pressure on individual counties to<br />

do the training themselves. During the pandemic, PACSETI quickly<br />

switched to total, self-paced, online training that could be used by<br />

individuals working at home with limited technology.<br />

5. PACSETI provides professional development training to assist future<br />

child support leaders. The resources offered may not otherwise be<br />

available to individual counties.<br />

Washington, D.C. Training Program<br />

While University-assisted training programs are wonderful resources when<br />

they are available, other jurisdictions use different methods to provide<br />

training to new hires and experienced staff. The District of Columbia has an<br />

in-house resource that offers a varied training curriculum on a periodic<br />

and/or as needed basis. Their course catalog contains several dozen<br />

stand-alone courses ranging from general topics, such as the overall Life of<br />

a Case, to specific subjects, such as Enforcement, and to targeted<br />

instruction on tools used by the child support agency like Box, FPLS, and<br />


The District of Columbia is currently embarking on a “Back to Basics”<br />

campaign. This campaign combines goal setting and training on all aspects<br />

of the Child Support Services Division, at the agency, managerial, and<br />

individual unit levels. This reset, which is largely led by middle-manager<br />

staff, comes after two years of remote<br />

work, and has several objectives: to<br />

strengthen connection and community, to<br />

validate and re-train standard processes,<br />

and to reinforce the accountability for<br />

every unit’s work as being important to<br />

the success of each case. Sophia Ticer,<br />

Deputy Attorney General, IV-D Director of<br />

the Child Support Services Division says,<br />

“The CSSD reset was essential for our<br />

agency to be better as a whole and for the children and residents of the<br />

District of Columbia. We found deficiencies in the staff knowledge base and<br />

decided to go back to basics for us to move forward.”<br />

Characteristics of Effective Training Programs<br />

Reviewing the three child support training programs outlined above in the<br />

context of the Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Adult Learning<br />

Programs (Billington, 2000), shows that while all characteristics are<br />

represented to some degree in each program, a couple of characteristics<br />

prominently stand out. This is especially true for the following<br />

characteristics:<br />

A safe, supportive student environment<br />

In Oklahoma, the training program incorporates the characteristic that<br />

learners are “accepted and respected as intelligent experienced<br />

adults whose opinions are listened to, honored, and appreciated”. An<br />

example of this principle is the Oklahoma Consistent Excellence<br />

Program (CE) where individuals come together to identify, document,<br />

and continually improve best practices and implement them as CSS<br />

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) through a uniform business<br />

model. These SOPs are then used to supplement Oklahoma’s<br />

training.<br />

A peer-to-peer student faculty environment<br />

In Pennsylvania, instructors all have direct work experience within the<br />

Pennsylvania child support system. In the District of Columbia, in

house training staff and unit managers lead trainings and are<br />

responsible for the bulk of the “Back to Basics.” Familiarity of the<br />

trainers with the child support program lends an important authenticity<br />

and credibility to training.<br />

Self-directed learning, where students take responsibility for their own<br />

learning AND optimal pacing for participants<br />

These two characteristics may be combined and are embodied in the<br />

Oklahoma and Pennsylvania training programs. Both feature worker<br />

access to online, on-demand course offerings as a highlight. In<br />

Oklahoma, the Certification Program and the <strong>CSQ</strong>uest website are<br />

direct reflections of this characteristic. Similarly, Pennsylvania’s selfservice<br />

training website and online Child Support Program Manual<br />

provide workers with many opportunities to learn and grow at their<br />

own pace.<br />

Active participant involvement in the learning process<br />

In Oklahoma, the CSS Academy (new hire, 2-week training) and CE<br />

are good examples of programs that include active involvement.<br />

Though the original intent of this characteristic was for in-person<br />

learning, in Pennsylvania, the inclusion of activities and simulations<br />

as part of online learning also serve to engage learners.<br />

Regular feedback from students to faculty<br />

For both Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, most training, regardless of<br />

delivery method, has an evaluation mechanism to provide an<br />

assessment of the offering to training program leadership.<br />

Assessments are taken seriously, and adjustments are made to<br />

training material and/or delivery as appropriate.<br />

In conclusion, training initiatives are essential to maintaining quality,<br />

adaptive child support programs, and focused attention to the seven<br />

characteristics of effective learning programs strengthens both the training<br />

and the organization sponsoring the training.<br />

____________________<br />

+ 1 Billington, PhD, Dorothy (2000) Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Adults Learning Programs,<br />

University of Missouri-St Louis<br />

http://www.umsl.edu/~henschkej/henschke/seven_characteristics_of_highly_effective_adult_learning_pro<br />


Dr. Daryl Baker received his Doctorate of Public Health from the University of<br />

Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Health Administration Policy. He has been an<br />

analyst for the University of Oklahoma, Center for Public Management since 2001.<br />

During that time he has worked with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to<br />

develop and evaluate training programs related to providing services for the state of<br />

Oklahoma.<br />

Laurel Eaton retired in 2016 as the Programs Manager for the Office of Planning,<br />

Evaluation, and Learning after 46 years with the Oklahoma Department of Human<br />

Services—38 of those years were with or related to Child Support Services. She also<br />

spent time with IV-A, Food Stamps, Medical, and public relations. After retirement, she<br />

returned as a Project Coordinator with the University of Oklahoma, Center for Public<br />

Management, contracted to Child Support Services. Ms Eaton is an individual member<br />

of NCSEA.<br />

Joyce Match is a Child Support Specialist Master with Deloitte Consulting who focuses<br />

on system and business process modernizations designed to enhance the experiences<br />

of both customers and workers, following a 26-year career managing the design,<br />

development, and implementation of child support initiatives in the Commonwealth of<br />

Pennsylvania.<br />

Karen E. Winkler has over 30 years’ experience in county government and the courts,<br />

working initially in the County Commissioners’ Public Information Office, then in the<br />

Domestic Relations Section. Karen received her BS in Public Administration from<br />

Shippensburg University, an MA in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from LaSalle<br />

University, and a Certificate in Communication for Professionals from the University of<br />


How Courts Responded to the Pandemic<br />

by NCSEA Research Subcommittee<br />

Judicial systems throughout the United States are often slow to embrace<br />

change, particularly when it comes to technology, but the COVID-19<br />

pandemic made change a necessity. As<br />

courthouses across the country closed, judicial<br />

administrators needed to look for new ways to<br />

do business or face the reality that almost no<br />

one would have access to justice. They turned<br />

to virtual hearings. A Pew survey of jurists<br />

working in state courts across the country found<br />

that a majority expected virtual hearings to<br />

become a permanent fixture of state courts. This article summarizes<br />

several resources that discuss changes adopted by courts during the initial<br />

phase of the pandemic.<br />

Two Articles Describe How Courts Responded to the Pandemic<br />

The December 2021 Pew Report “How Courts Embraced Technology, Met<br />

the Pandemic Challenge, and Revolutionized Their Operations” and<br />

Professor Richard Susskind’s “The Future of Courts” looked at the<br />

unprecedented adoption of technology by the courts during the pandemic<br />

using different lenses. The Pew Report focused on whether the<br />

technological changes made the legal system easier for unrepresented<br />

people to navigate civil courts. Professor Susskind focused on the<br />

introduction of remote hearings in countries across the world and how<br />

courts must use this “unscheduled pilot program” to gather data to decide<br />

what to keep going forward.<br />

The Pew Report reviewed just under 10,000 state and local pandemicrelated<br />

support orders and found that all 50 states accelerated the adoption<br />

of automating practical tasks, such as e-filing of documents and virtual<br />

hearings. However, these options were not available in all localities and all<br />

types of cases. For example, in the 43 states and D.C. where courts handle<br />

child support matters, only 33 states and D.C. set up a process that<br />

allowed unrepresented individuals to e-file modification requests. Even<br />

where courts implemented new technology, people faced many challenges.

The new technology required both internet access and the knowledge to<br />

use it. Broadband connectivity differs across the country, with<br />

disproportionately low rates of access for certain populations and locations.<br />

Those with internet access faced difficulty trying to navigate confusing court<br />

websites with no place to find help. Although many courts have worked<br />

hard to make the process more streamlined and understandable to<br />

everyone, people with disabilities or limited English proficiency continue to<br />

face significant disadvantages.<br />

Court officials across the country report increases in civil court appearance<br />

rates as a result of moving to remote hearings, which includes people<br />

participating virtually or by phone. This confirms pre-COVID claims that<br />

reducing the costs associated with coming to court would allow more<br />

people to take part in their cases. Now that courts have seen the benefits,<br />

some forms of remote services are here to stay. In a June 2021 survey of<br />

240 magistrates, trial judges, and appellate justices from across the<br />

country, a majority said they expect remote proceedings to become a<br />

permanent fixture of state courts.<br />

Writing in the summer of 2020, Professor Susskind asked again whether<br />

“court” is a place or a service, and whether it is always necessary to<br />

congregate physically to settle our legal differences. Focusing on remote<br />

hearings, he concluded that what courts cobbled together during the first<br />

few months of the pandemic improved existing, often inefficient, work<br />

practices but did not fully transform court practices. Nonetheless, these<br />

enhancements have provided the opportunity to learn valuable lessons.<br />

Susskind argued that, while not right for all legal actions, remote hearings<br />

can handle many legal disputes, often less expensively, more conveniently,<br />

more speedily, and less combatively than the traditional system, particularly<br />

in the civil arena. He urged courts to capture more data about cases that<br />

have been conducted remotely and evaluate what has been learned so that<br />

more informed decisions can be made about when to use remote<br />

proceedings.<br />

Susskind found clear difficulties with remote hearings for the elderly, those<br />

requiring translation, and those with poor internet connection. He also<br />

noted that there have been concerns raised about privacy and security on<br />

some video platforms, but it appears that those concerns have been<br />


According to Susskind, whether remote courts are secure and deliver<br />

justice is a complex question, and any blanket<br />

rejection of remote courts on the grounds of<br />

justice should be viewed with skepticism.<br />

Keeping remote courts in operation after the<br />

pandemic contemplates a more fundamental<br />

change to courts than has been seen in<br />

hundreds of years. This shift merits deep discussion rather than dismissive<br />

emotional appeals to justice. Susskind helped create Remote Courts<br />

Worldwide, which is a repository for court innovators around the world to<br />

share information on their work and allows for country-based searches.<br />

How Child Support Programs and Their Judicial Partners Responded<br />

to COVID-19<br />

This section summarizes several sources that describe how child support<br />

programs and their judicial partners responded to COVID-19 during the first<br />

year of the pandemic, focusing on e-filing and virtual hearings. Two<br />

workshops at the 2021 annual ERICSA conference held virtually in <strong>May</strong><br />

2021 focused on e-filing and virtual hearings. 1 The New York City Family<br />

Court wrote a report on the impact of COVID-19 2 and the Institute for<br />

Research on Poverty produced two reports on the impact of COVID on the<br />

child support program in five counties in Wisconsin. 3<br />

1<br />

All plenaries and workshops from the 2021 ERICSA conference were recorded and are<br />

publicly available at: https://www.ericsa.org/2021-ericsa-virtual-road-trip-agenda. The workshop<br />

on virtual hearings was titled “Conducting a Virtual Hearing.” It was moderated by Nicolas<br />

Palos, Support Magistrate from Brooklyn, NY. There were four speakers: Harold Bahr, Support<br />

Magistrate from Bronx; Teddy Andreopoulos, lawyer from the Interstate Unit of the NYC Law<br />

Department; Kate Weaver, Referee from Oakland County, MI; and Sarah Troyer, lawyer from<br />

St. Joseph County, IN. The workshop on e-filing was titled “Excellence in E-Filing.” It was<br />

moderated by Margot Bean from Deloitte Consulting. The speakers were Alex Satchell and<br />

Stephanie Connelly from VA, Connie Chesnik from WI, and Gene Gustin from OR.<br />

2<br />

The New York City Family Court COVID Work Group. The Impact of COVID-19 on the New York City<br />

Family Court: Recommendations on Improving Access to Justice for All Litigants (January <strong>2022</strong>).<br />

3<br />

Lisa Klein Vogel et.al. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Child Support Enforcement (August<br />

2021); Lisa Klein Vogel and Vee Yeo. COVID-19 and Transitioning to a Virtual Workforce<br />

(August 2021).

Did the child support programs have access to e-filing with the courts<br />

during the first year of the pandemic?<br />

The jurisdictions represented on the ERICSA 2021 e-filing workshop had<br />

varying access to e-filing during the first year of the pandemic. Although<br />

Michigan had an e-filing system for state courts, the family courts were not<br />

part of that system. This was rectified once the pandemic began. Virginia<br />

had just completed incorporating an e-filing process into its computer<br />

system prior to the pandemic. During the first year of the pandemic, it<br />

added six additional court forms to the e-filing process.<br />

The New York City family courts did not have an e-filing system prior to the<br />

pandemic and still do not have one as of January <strong>2022</strong>. In response to the<br />

pandemic, a new system was initiated in <strong>May</strong> 2020 that allows court users<br />

to transmit digitized documents to the Family Court. This platform is a<br />

submission portal, not an e-filing system.<br />

In Wisconsin, the courts have an e-filing website that the child support<br />

program uses, but during the initial months of the pandemic some county<br />

child support offices could not access it. Caseworker access is tied to each<br />

county’s virtual private network (VPN), and some counties have VPNs that<br />

do not allow caseworkers to access the web when working outside of<br />

county office buildings. The e-filing website was revised to allow<br />

caseworker access, but this is a temporary fix as it does not have the same<br />

level of security as other parts of the e-filing system. The Wisconsin child<br />

support program is now building an interface with the court system to<br />

replace child support’s use of the court’s e-filing website. Once this is<br />

complete, caseworkers will access the e-filing system through the child<br />

support computer system.<br />

What happened to court hearings during the first year of the pandemic?<br />

In March 2020, all courts in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and New York<br />

City were instructed to limit court activities to “essential” functions in<br />

response to COVID-19. All in-person hearings in child support cases were<br />

suspended in these jurisdictions. Many courts closed their doors to the<br />

public. In New York City, the Family Court deemed most child support<br />

cases as “nonessential,” and placed these cases on hold until January<br />


Regarding contempt hearings, most of the five counties examined in the<br />

Wisconsin study<br />

paused contempt hearings for many months in<br />

2020, typically resuming in August 2020. Even after<br />

courts resumed conducting contempt hearings,<br />

courts gave lower priority to them, and child support<br />

offices referred fewer cases for contempt. During<br />

this time, law enforcement agencies sought to keep<br />

the number of people in jail at a minimum to reduce potential exposure to<br />

COVID-19. Consequently, courts were less likely to issue warrants and jail<br />

sentences even when non-custodial parents were found in contempt.<br />

Family courts in these jurisdictions started using virtual hearings for child<br />

support cases as early as April 2020; others started considerably later than<br />

that. All family courts were conducting virtual hearings by February<br />

2021. Indiana, Michigan, and the five counties in Wisconsin used Zoom,<br />

while New York City started using Skype for Business but then switched<br />

to Microsoft Teams. All of the speakers on the ERICSA panel noted that<br />

they want to keep virtual hearings going forward because of the<br />

convenience it provides customers, which has generated higher<br />

participation rates.<br />

The delay in transitioning to virtual hearings was largely due to a lack of<br />

technology to support them. Many staff did not have computers to work<br />

remotely, often they did not have remote access to files, VPNs frequently<br />

had to be established to ensure confidentiality, and sometimes software<br />

licenses had to be purchased.<br />

Despite these challenges, many child support offices embraced the<br />

opportunity to create innovative solutions. The following are two such<br />

examples of how child support offices quickly pivoted to ensure customers’<br />

participation in the court process.<br />

The development of this article is a collaborative effort brought to you by NCSEA’s<br />

Research Committee, a subcommittee of NCSEA’s broader Policy & Government<br />

Relations (P&GR) Committee. The NCSEA Research Committee is charged with<br />

reviewing and submitting research and other documents related to child support and<br />

human services, for consideration and placement on the NCSEA Research webpage,<br />

as well as reviewing current postings on a quarterly basis for relevance and timeliness.

Implementation of Electronic Filing<br />

of Documents During the Pandemic<br />

in Kern County<br />

by Susan Saelee, Program Manager, Kern County (CA) Department of<br />

Child Support Services<br />

When California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of<br />

emergency due to COVID-19 in March 2020, Kern County Department<br />

of Child Support Services (KCDCSS) was electronically filing only one<br />

legal form, the Summons and Complaint.<br />

KCDCSS and the court agreed that moving to electronic filing would not<br />

only expedite internal processes and save on costs, but most importantly,<br />

would allow customers to receive outcomes in a timely manner. KCDCSS<br />

formed an electronic filing workgroup made up of stakeholders throughout<br />

the organization. Using the principles of Lean Six Sigma, the workgroup<br />

created an effective and efficient process for electronic filing of seven<br />

additional documents: Proof of Service, Amended Proposed Judgment,<br />

Default, Registration of Foreign Order, Notice Regarding Payment of<br />

Support, Stipulations, and Notice of Motion.<br />

With electronic filing came the use of electronic<br />

signature software. The California State Department<br />

of Child Support Services provides DocuSign access<br />

for the local child support agencies. DocuSign is a<br />

fast and secure way to send, sign, and approve<br />

electronic documents. KCDCSS was one of the first<br />

counties to move forward with the use of DocuSign in conjunction with<br />

electronic filing.<br />

Since the pandemic began, KCDCSS has successfully electronically filed<br />

hundreds of documents and reduced the amount of time it takes for parents<br />

to receive an outcome. Though the pandemic halted our ability to meet with<br />

customers face to face, it did not stop us from finding innovative ways to<br />

help families create a better life for their children.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office<br />

Child Support Division and the Courts<br />

During the Pandemic<br />

by Ethan McKinney, DPA, Child Support Director, St. Joseph’s County<br />

(IN) Prosecutors Office<br />

The Child Support Division (CSD) of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s<br />

Office worked hard to continue to serve the public throughout the<br />

pandemic. The office relied on great cooperation from their judicial partners<br />

in circuit court, superior court, and probate court, where most Title IV-D<br />

cases are filed. Probate court closed briefly but reopened after CSD<br />

installed protective barriers and the court implemented COVID-related<br />

cleaning procedures.<br />

When the positivity rate in the community increased, CSD partnered with<br />

probate court to conduct video hearings. CSD had deputy prosecutors and<br />

caseworkers participate on video with the parties to mirror the efficiency of<br />

their in-person court practices. The office and courts agreed that paternity<br />

and support establishment hearings and modifications of support took<br />

precedence during this time while enforcement hearings were reduced or<br />

eliminated, as it was evident that people who weren’t paying were impacted<br />

by the pandemic.<br />

To reach out to parents who weren’t paying, the office used its<br />

administrative hearing practice to connect with those parents via video.<br />

These video conferences allowed deputy prosecutors to speak to parents,<br />

make case decisions, and in many cases refer cases for modification due<br />

to loss of work.<br />

The office and probate court are now preparing to resume in-person court<br />

and a traditional court schedule. However, the circuit court has seen the<br />

benefits of using video hearings for certain matters and seems likely to<br />

keep some video hearings. CSD hopes to continue video hearings for<br />

some administrative hearings and potentially include conducting<br />

modifications via stipulation.

The office greatly improved its use of technology during this time, which<br />

has allowed workers to work remotely and has given them the ability to<br />

conduct hearings or meetings with parents via video conferencing, thereby<br />

promoting safety and efficiency. While the pandemic forced us to evaluate<br />

our current practices to meet the needs of the public we serve, it has<br />

resulted in better customer service, higher employee job satisfaction, and<br />

better working relationships with our courts.<br />

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IN button.



by Sheri Hurst, Arizona Department of Economic<br />

Security, Division of Child Support Services<br />

The State of Arizona has deployed a professional, results-driven<br />

management system to transform the way Arizona state government thinks<br />

and does business as one enterprise. This management system is called<br />

the Arizona Management System (AMS) and is based on principles of Lean<br />

management, where every state employee at every level now reflects daily<br />

on how they perform, while always seeking a better way.<br />

What is LEAN?<br />

Lean is not an acronym or a separate initiative. Lean is a set of principles<br />

and tools that helps an organization provide value to the customer from the<br />

customer’s point of view. A Lean management system increases efficiency<br />

by identifying and eliminating wasteful activities that do not add value to the<br />

delivery of a service or product to its customers.<br />

What is a Value Stream?<br />

“Whenever there is a product for a customer, there is a value stream.<br />

The challenge lies in seeing it.” 1<br />

A value stream is the set of processes required to provide value to a<br />

customer from initiation to the delivery of a service or product. An example<br />

of a value stream in child support could be from the time an application for<br />

IV-D services is received from a customer to the time the requested service<br />

is fulfilled. If the requested service is establishment of an order for support,<br />

then the value stream would be from initiation to establishment of an order.<br />

The next value stream might be from establishment of an order to the<br />

1<br />

Mike Rother and John Shook, Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate<br />

MUDA (Cambridge: Lean Enterprise Institute, 2009).

customer receiving child support payments. There may be multiple value<br />

streams within the organization.<br />

What is a Value Stream Map?<br />

A value stream map (VSM) is the visual format representing the set of<br />

processes in the value stream. A VSM offers a birds-eye view of the<br />

business value stream and should be at a higher level than a process map.<br />

A process map features the steps or sequence of activities within each of<br />

these high-level processes. Creating a VSM helps an organization to<br />

visualize the value stream, and highlights where opportunities exist to<br />

improve delivery of the product or service to increase value for the<br />

customer.<br />

A VSM is developed with the intent of analyzing the processes identified<br />

within the value stream to create a current-state VSM. The current-state<br />

VSM should describe the process as it is right now and should identify<br />

waste and inefficiencies in the value stream. Waste is whatever is<br />

considered non-value-added from the customer’s perspective. This<br />

analysis is used to develop a future-state VSM. The future-state map<br />

incorporates countermeasures, or potential actions, that can be taken to<br />

create strategy initiatives to improve efficiency and increase customer<br />


What is a Value Stream Improvement Plan?<br />

A Value Stream Improvement Plan (VSIP) documents the<br />

countermeasures. A VSIP is essentially a project plan that tracks planned<br />

initiatives to improve the value stream as identified in the future-state VSM,<br />

including identifying action steps that should be completed immediately and<br />

action steps that can be completed later. This VSIP visually tracks monthly<br />

planned target activity performance against actual target activity<br />

performance and highlights where an activity may be off-track.<br />

What are the benefits of VSM mapping?<br />

Prior to the Pandemic, Arizona’s Division of Child Support Services<br />

(Division) thought it was on a pretty good path. But the pandemic changed<br />

everything. Staff were working from home, transitioning to new virtual<br />

processes, and needed a way to move forward in the virtual world. The<br />

value stream had been built for in-person processes and not for the virtual<br />

customer. Customers needed virtual services now more than ever, without<br />

delay. The Division used VSM mapping to meet strategic goals, such as<br />

increasing value for its virtual customers, improving team morale in a virtual<br />

world, and improving Division performance.

The Division had previously been able to meet in person using a<br />

conference room to map processes. Where once the Division had thrown<br />

butcher paper on the wall and grabbed pencils and post-it notes to map the<br />

value stream, this option was no longer available. In order to define the<br />

new virtual value stream and make tactical changes, the Division needed to<br />

create the ability to see the process from a virtual standpoint. It was<br />

necessary to reveal disconnects and stoppages, promote metric-based<br />

decision-making, and optimize the value stream performance to ensure all<br />

teams were rowing in the same direction. The Division held a virtual VSM<br />

event over three days.<br />

Prior to the VSM Event<br />

• Gather Information: What were the core processes that were<br />

needed in order to provide requested services?<br />

• Identify Teams: Who can speak to each of the processes within the<br />

value stream and identify process steps, as well as overall expected<br />

outcomes for each process? Who can obtain and interpret the data<br />

associated with each process? Who is empowered to support<br />

necessary process improvements?<br />

• Determine and Commit to Deliverables: The defined deliverables<br />

from the event were a Current State VSM, a Future State VSM, and a<br />

Value Stream Improvement Plan (VSIP). The VSM event was<br />

scheduled for three full days with extra time built in in the event the<br />

deliverables were not completed.<br />

• Schedule the Event: Previously, the Division had been able to<br />

schedule conference rooms and gather everyone into one room. With<br />

the new virtual environment, more creativity was needed. The<br />

Division used Google Meet video conferencing for the event. Using a<br />

video conferencing tool can be just as effective as in-person<br />

meetings. They just require a bit of practice and planning beforehand.<br />

Mapping the VSM Current State (Day One)<br />

The Division began mapping the current state of the value stream. They<br />

started from the beginning, which was application received, and moved<br />

through each process to payment. This activity brought out conversation,<br />

reflection, and cooperation as the group began pinpointing and creating a<br />

visual of the current state of the value stream. The Current State VSM is

the basis for the Future State VSM and needs to be directionally correct,<br />

not 100% perfect.<br />

With all the information up on the “virtual” wall (Google Jamboards), the<br />

team started identifying “pain points” in the value stream, looking for areas<br />

of improvement. For example, where once customers were able to walk<br />

into an office, this was no longer an option. Other pain points included<br />

missing documents, paper mailing, lack of electronic communication<br />

methods, long timeframes, and incorrect messaging, to name a few. For<br />

each pain point area, the team added pink post-it notes identifying the<br />

specific defects or need for improvement. The team also identified some<br />

low hanging fruit: immediate corrections that would reduce timeframes and<br />

improve process flow. These were referred to as “Just Do Its” and were<br />

easily implemented for immediate impact.<br />

Mapping the VSM Future State (Day Two)<br />

Using the data from the Current State VSM, the team targeted waste,<br />

prioritized improvements to be implemented, and started designing the new<br />

Future State VSM. The target was to eliminate or combine steps and<br />

remove as much waste from the processes as possible. Once waste had<br />

been identified and prioritized, the team created a Future State VSM with<br />

waste and barriers to flow removed. They now had a new and improved<br />

VSM. The next step was to create the Value Stream Improvement Plan<br />

(VSIP).<br />

VSIP (Day Three)<br />

On Day Three, the team created their VSIP, documenting initiatives to be<br />

implemented over the next Fiscal Year to improve strategy and<br />

performance.<br />

VSM mapping provides a comprehensive and structured view that<br />

documents, analyzes, and improves the flow of information and/or<br />

materials throughout the value stream. VSM mapping may help to meet<br />

overall strategic goals by identifying how coordinating integral parts of the<br />

processes for value stream activities may improve both efficiency and an<br />

understanding of what the customer values. The VSM mapping process is<br />

also easy to understand and may improve overall morale by clarifying the<br />

value of each person’s role throughout the value stream.

Arizona’s Division of Child Support Services found the following resources<br />

beneficial to learning about value streams, holding events, and value<br />

stream mapping:<br />

Kaizen Event Fieldbook, a Shingo-award winning book on Kaizen event<br />

principles and management, written by Mark R. Hamel.<br />

Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Create Value and Eliminate<br />

MUDA, written by Mike Rother and John Shook.<br />

For more information on the processes that Arizona follows, or for<br />

additional information, please contact Catalina<br />

Ybarra @ cybarra@azdes.gov.<br />

Sheri Hurst is currently a Lean Coach for the Arizona Management System with the<br />

State of Arizona, Department of Economic Security, Division of Child Support Services.<br />

In her 32 years of government experience, including over 20 years in leadership roles,<br />

she was also the Administrator over Continuous Improvement and Data Analytics,<br />

Executive Staff Assistant for the IVD Director, Regional Manager for both the metro and<br />

rural offices and a supervisor. Prior to returning to Arizona and joining the Department<br />

of Economic Security in 2005, Sheri was the Training and Policy Manager for the<br />

Stanislaus County Department of Child Support Services. She has been certified in<br />

Train the Trainer for the State of California, was certified as a 4Mat Learning Styles<br />

instructor and is Six Sigma Green Belt certified.

<strong>2022</strong> Policy Forum Wrap Up: Focusing on Our<br />

Vision…Recognizing Our Perspectives<br />

By Connie Chesnik, Co-chair, NCSEA <strong>2022</strong> Policy Forum<br />

The <strong>2022</strong> NCSEA Policy Forum, held February 2-5 in Washington, D.C.,<br />

was a great success, with 238 people attending in-person and 393<br />

attending virtually. Attendees engaged in thought-provoking plenary<br />

sessions featuring dynamic speakers whose topics centered on this year’s<br />

theme: Focusing on Our Vision: Recognizing Our Different<br />

Perspectives.<br />

The Policy Forum gave recently appointed OCSE Commissioner, Tanguler<br />

Gray, her first opportunity to share her vision of ENGAGEMENT with the<br />

child support community. Commissioner Gray noted how the child support<br />

program has evolved over time, guided by legislation and the changing<br />

needs of families, from a focus on retaining child support to recover welfare<br />

costs to a more family-centered program. The Commissioner reaffirmed the<br />

Administration for Children and Families’ commitment to advancing racial<br />

equity, improving collaboration with tribal communities, and increasing<br />

flexibility to better position OCSE to provide guidance to states.<br />

The first day of the Policy Forum<br />

featured a series of plenary<br />

sessions that complemented<br />

Commissioner Gray’s vision,<br />

focusing on the impact that child<br />

support program service delivery<br />

has on different stakeholder<br />

populations. A Customer Service<br />

plenary highlighted the work of the American Public Human Services<br />

Association (APHSA) in developing a roadmap to human services system

alignment for young families. The panel featured parents from around the<br />

country who provided insights on their experiences accessing services<br />

across human service programs. Their powerful presentation reminded<br />

attendees of the need to meet people where they are and to hold space for<br />

learning before moving to enforcement. Attendees gained valuable insight<br />

into approaching customer participation and engagement in their states.<br />

Building on the work begun at last year’s Policy Forum, the session on<br />

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion focused on living what we are learning and<br />

explored what it means to have an equity mindset. Dr. Deirdre Williams of<br />

U-Bridge Project Consulting, LLC, addressed barriers to equity and<br />

inclusion, the unwillingness to have uncomfortable conversations, and<br />

resistance to change. She encouraged programs developing policies and<br />

processes to ask who would benefit from and who would be harmed by<br />

those policies and processes. She provided attendees with the tools for<br />

developing an inclusive culture, one that recognizes what diversity brings to<br />

an organization and that shows respect for different voices. Dr. Williams<br />

noted that while we can’t make people change, we can give them<br />

experiences that make them think about their own unconscious bias and<br />

how it may perpetuate inequities. When asked what to do when<br />

organizations get stuck, Dr. Williams encouraged them to keep moving<br />

forward. Listen to understand and not to act.<br />

The equity theme continued with the first day’s final plenary, which focused<br />

on creating equity in the child support program for survivors of domestic<br />

violence (DV). Michael Hayes from OCSE’s Division of Program Innovation<br />

and Doreen Nicholas from the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and<br />

Domestic Violence challenged the neutrality of child support service<br />

delivery, emphasizing that neutrality benefits the harm-doer and not the<br />

survivor. Attendees once again heard the importance of listening so that we<br />

can truly be a part of DV survivors’ financial safety net. The session<br />

provided a better understanding of the intersection of domestic violence<br />

and child support and how the child support program can lift up and support<br />

survivors. Takeaways from this session included the need for annual DV<br />

training for child support staff as well as the need to review the number of<br />

cases flagged with family violence indicators.<br />

The second day of the Policy Forum featured reviews of various<br />

operational aspects of the child support program through an equity lens. A<br />

panel of child support experts began the day with a review of federal

performance measures, why they were selected, and whether they are<br />

effective in measuring the success of the child support program. Panelists<br />

discussed how the current performance measures do not directly measure<br />

how we help families escape poverty. Despite the fact that our services are<br />

basically free, child support caseloads continue to decline. Panelists<br />

challenged attendees to consider whether our declining caseloads are in<br />

part a result of what we are measuring and incentivizing.<br />

The next plenary session focused on different perspectives on<br />

enforcement. Recognizing that enforcement is a core service of the child<br />

support program, this session featured panelists with different perspectives<br />

on the use of specific enforcement remedies and how their approach to<br />

these enforcement tools has evolved over time. Panelists polled audience<br />

members for their thoughts on what enforcement meant:

The results of this poll led to an interesting and meaningful discussion on<br />

where we envision the child support program going and whether our<br />

enforcement efforts are transactional or transformational. When income<br />

withholding stops, do we immediately turn to enforcement, or do we stop to<br />

ask how we could help? Are we using contempt as an enforcement tool<br />

only when we’ve exhausted all other measures or is it the first enforcement<br />

tool we use? Have we moved from more traditional methods of<br />

enforcement with incarceration consequences to more flexible options that<br />

focus on ability to pay? Commissioner Gray’s vision of engagement<br />

permeated throughout this<br />

session, as various<br />

stakeholders with differing<br />

perspectives on<br />

enforcement discussed the<br />

importance of collaboration,<br />

communication, and<br />

outreach, all sharing the<br />

common goal of helping<br />

families achieve financial stability.<br />

Commissioner Gray’s vision of engagement<br />

permeated throughout this session, as various<br />

stakeholders with differing perspectives on<br />

enforcement discussed the importance of<br />

collaboration, communication, and outreach, all<br />

sharing the common goal of helping families achieve<br />

financial stability<br />

Perhaps one of the most fascinating sessions focused on the history of<br />

paternity establishment policies and practices. Professor Nara Milanich,<br />

author of Paternity: The Elusive Quest for the Father, explored whether<br />

paternity is about biology or morality. Dr. Milanich relayed an excerpt from<br />

her book regarding a paternity action involving Charlie Chaplin that<br />

changed the future of paternity laws in America. This provided a segue into<br />

compelling discussions on Georgia’s mandatory genetic testing<br />

requirements and the implications of these issues in single sex parentage<br />

cases.<br />

The Guidelines session focused on the impact of the 2016 changes in<br />

federal regulations related to state child support guidelines. Those<br />

regulations focused on the establishment of support and imputation of<br />

income in low-income cases. Discussion focused on how states<br />

incorporated their own policy goals, including goals related to diversity,<br />

equity, and inclusion, into their guidelines. Former OCSE Commissioner<br />

Vicki Turetsky provided the perspective of the federal government at the<br />

time the regulations were enacted. Panelists from Colorado and Wisconsin<br />

addressed the successes, challenges, and dilemmas encountered when

implementing consistent, predictable, appropriate, and equitable guidelines<br />

that serve the best interests of children.<br />

The second day concluded with a session on Intergovernmental Hot<br />

Topics. Child support experts from across the country addressed some of<br />

the most frustrating issues that impact successful management of<br />

intergovernmental cases. Attendees<br />

had the opportunity to weigh in on the<br />

obstacles they face and provide<br />

recommendations for possible<br />

solutions. Problems associated with<br />

case closure and zero orders proved<br />

to be a common problem among<br />

states, along with issues related to<br />

payment processing when an order is<br />

issued in one state and the custodial<br />

parent is receiving services in another state.<br />

Saturday’s sessions began with a panel on system modernization featuring<br />

representatives from states and territories that have recently modernized<br />

their systems. Titled “Ask not what your policy can do for your system, but<br />

what your system can do for your policy,” this interactive session<br />

emphasized the impact decisions made today can have on policy and<br />

technology for years to come, and the need for systems to timely support<br />

and implement policy decisions. Engagement featured prominently<br />

throughout the conversation, emphasizing the importance of engaging with<br />

stakeholders to ensure that systems are designed to address the needs of<br />

participants.<br />

The <strong>2022</strong> NCSEA Policy Forum concluded with a fun, interactive session<br />

that invited participants to focus on an area of interest from the sessions<br />

offered over the previous two days and, with the assistance of a facilitator<br />

at their table, develop an organizational change management plan to<br />

operationalize in their state. Participants enjoyed a special treat while they<br />

worked, and attendees left for home with action steps that they could<br />

implement upon their return to their offices which aligned with NCSEA’s<br />

vision of a world where every child receives reliable financial and emotional<br />


The NCSEA Policy Forum would not be possible without the hard work and<br />

planning of the Policy Forum Planning Committee. Our sincere thanks to<br />

this team for their efforts over six months:<br />

Margot Bean and Connie Chesnik, Co-chairs<br />

Jason Cabrera<br />

Robbie Endris<br />

Corri Flores<br />

Laura Galindo<br />

Paul Gehm<br />

Matthew Gomez<br />

Emily Gregg<br />

Alisha Griffin<br />

Mary Johnson<br />

Tish Keahna Kruzan<br />

Daniel King<br />

Christine Mahoney<br />

Janice McDaniel<br />

Katie Morgan<br />

Ann Marie Oldani<br />

Diane Potts<br />

Amy Roehrenbeck<br />

Hannah Roots<br />

Laura Roth<br />

Jonell Sullivan<br />

Elise Topliss<br />

Rob Velcoff<br />

Jane Venohr<br />

Carla West<br />

We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Policy Forum<br />

February 2-4, 2023<br />

JW Marriott, Washington, D.C.<br />

Connie M. Chesnik received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the<br />

University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an attorney for the Wisconsin Department of<br />

Workforce Development, Connie advised the child support program for many years and<br />

has spoken frequently on Wisconsin’s child support guidelines and Wisconsin’s tribal IV-<br />

D program. She is currently the Administrator of the Division of Family and Economic<br />

Security in the Department of Children and Families where she oversees Wisconsin’s<br />

child support, refugee and employment programs. Connie is a member of the State Bar<br />

of Wisconsin, and the State and National Child Support Enforcement Associations. She<br />

currently serves on the NCSEA Board of Directors.

Meet Our NCSEA U Alumni<br />

NCSEA U provides a unique premier educational and professional development<br />

opportunity. It is structured for learning leaders in the child support community and it<br />

complements NCSEA’s other educational initiatives and strategies. Taught by<br />

nationally recognized child support leaders, it offers a variety of informative and<br />

strategic topics.<br />

Carla Smith - Class of 2018<br />

Director<br />

Crawford County (PA) Domestic Relations Section<br />

What would you like others to know about NCSEA U?<br />

NCSEA U was intimidating at first walking in not knowing anyone and what experience they have compared to<br />

yours; however, the instructors quickly change the environment by establishing group discussion. NCSEA U<br />

gave me tools I continue to use. The one in particular was the “Tips of the Trade”. I used the Communication<br />

Techniques when presenting my annual budget, creating a new management position within my office and<br />

communicating with peers. I have so many memories from this particular session I still laugh when thinking<br />

about the role play we did. NCSEA U is definitely a life time experience I will not forget.<br />

Since attending NCSEA U, what opportunities (personal and professional) have you experienced?<br />

I have since been elected President of the Domestic Relations Association of Pennsylvania (DRAP) and<br />

received the highest prestigious award DRAP offers to leaders of child support in Pennsylvania.<br />

What is a key leadership attribute that you appreciate in others? Why?<br />

I appreciate a high performer. Someone I can assign a project and they will deliver a polished product that is<br />

everything I ask for and in many cases more. High performers are self-motivated and are great advocates for<br />

managers.<br />

John Sours - Class 2019<br />

Assistant Deputy Commissioner<br />

Georgia Division of Child Support Services<br />

What would you like others to know about NCSEA U?<br />

NCSEA U is an excellent networking and idea sharing space and a great chance to meet child<br />

support professionals from other states.<br />

NCSEA U @ Leadership Symposium focuses on the emerging and learning leader. How<br />

do you define leadership?<br />

I define leadership as selfless commitment to empower those around you. In the space of child<br />

support this has a direct correlation to clients which makes it even more important and<br />

impactful.<br />

Since attending NCSEA U, what opportunities (personal and professional) have you<br />

experienced?<br />

Since 2019, I was promoted to Deputy Business Administrator; I was formally in a special<br />

assignment role.

NCSEA On Location: And So It Began<br />

by Tim Lightner, Child Support Specialist II, Alaska<br />

Child Support Division<br />

In February 2018, a man walks down a hallway and finds a spot to sit at the<br />

NCSEA Policy Forum at the Renaissance Washington DC, Downtown<br />

Hotel. He carries with him a cup of coffee, his Apple Mac laptop, and a<br />

black travel bag. He opens his computer on the table, strategically sets up<br />

a microphone, and is soon greeted by Alisha Griffin and Robert Doar. The<br />

man with the mic was none other than former NCSEA President Joe<br />

Mamlin. And so it began: On Location, NCSEA’s endeavor into the podcast<br />

world.<br />

All Things Podcast<br />

There are over two million podcasts that exist worldwide; i however, there<br />

are a limited number of child support related podcasts. Many deal with<br />

family law and child custody. NCSEA On Location may be one of the first<br />

podcasts that was created by and for child support<br />

professionals. It was produced to be recorded “on<br />

location” at child support conferences, meetings, and<br />

events around the world to conduct interviews and to<br />

hold conversations with child support and human<br />

services professionals, as well as other stakeholders in<br />

the program and beyond.<br />

You might have been unaware of podcast technology in<br />

2018, be new to the podcast scene, or you may be an avid<br />

podcast listener. Regardless, pull up your favorite<br />

podcast platform and you can easily find On Location. You will hear with<br />

each episode, “This is On Location. I’m Joe Mamlin” or “I’m Tim Lightner.”<br />

“It’s gonna be a great show, so stick around and we’ll be right back.” You’ll<br />

hear the On Location theme song, written and performed by Joe. And you’ll<br />

know that you are in the right place at the right time for another edition.<br />

In the first year, NCSEA produced, recorded, and released seven podcasts.<br />

They included spotlighting NCSEA Leadership Symposium, the Ohio Child

Support Director’s Association Spring Conference, the Multi-Jurisdictional<br />

Meeting in DC, and the Western Intergovernmental Child Support<br />

Engagement Council’s (WICSEC) conference in Omaha, Nebraska.<br />

Why Podcasts?<br />

According to Buzzsprout: ii<br />

• In <strong>2022</strong>, 51% of people have listened to a podcast and roughly 78%<br />

are familiar with the medium<br />

• Podcast listeners increased by 29.5% from 2018 to 2021<br />

• Over one-third (104 million) of Americans listen to podcasts regularly<br />

• According to Edison Research, 41% (116 million) listened to a<br />

podcast in the last month<br />

• 28% (80 million) of Americans are weekly podcast listeners<br />

• Smart speaker ownership grew by over 22% during the first year of<br />

the pandemic as more people worked from home<br />

• During the COVID-19 pandemic, podcasting experienced<br />

unprecedented growth and podcast audiences diversified<br />

• Each week, more Americans listen to podcasts than have Netflix<br />

accounts<br />

In the past couple of years, On Location has produced 20-23 podcasts with<br />

thoughtful, quality content each year. iii As of the publication of this article,<br />

On Location has released 72 podcasts, which have been listened to over<br />

4,400 times. Cumulatively over 4,948 minutes (or over 82 hours) of content<br />

have been produced.<br />

Podcast Performance – Daily Plays

The top five U.S. geographical locations that listen to On Location are<br />

California, Washington, Alaska, Virginia, and Ohio. Top five international<br />

geographic locations are Germany, Brazil, Ireland, U.S. Virgin Islands, and<br />

Norway. On Location can be heard anywhere you get your podcasts,<br />

including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Good Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket<br />

Casts, RadioPublic, and iHeart Radio.<br />

Geographic Location<br />

How Are Podcasts Produced?<br />

The NCSEA Communication Committee and the Podcast Subcommittee<br />

are tasked with producing and publishing podcast episodes. The<br />

committees are made up of volunteers from the child support community,<br />

including state, county, and tribal partners, as well as child support vendors<br />

and private programs. While the frequency of podcasts varies, the<br />

producers strive for weekly to bi-weekly editions to keep listeners<br />

connected and engaged. The more consistent the content, the more

listeners return to check out new releases, and the converse is true—less<br />

frequency means less engagement, and listeners drop.<br />

Committee members keep their radar on alert for interesting ideas within<br />

the child support community. They consider topics and speakers from<br />

NCSEA conferences (such as Policy Forum and Leadership Symposium),<br />

web talks, sister organizations (WICSEC, ERICSA, NTCSA, etc.), private<br />

companies, and other human services providers, such as the Fathers and<br />

Families Coalition of America (FFCA). They find programs (state, county,<br />

and tribal) that garner interest and pursue producing an episode about<br />

them. Anything that seems to spark interest is vetted for On Location.<br />

Collaboration with committee members adds to this process, including<br />

adding speakers, examining what can be expanded into a series, and<br />

more. We are always looking for ways to increase the value of NCSEA<br />

membership, keeping in mind that just as there are diverse interests among<br />

our membership, so too is a variety of topics and speakers key to the<br />

podcast medium’s success.<br />

On Location has also included podcasts to reflect NCSEA’s commitment to<br />

diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). When interviewing the co-chairs of<br />

both the 2021 Policy Forum (Erin Frisch and Shaneen Moore) and the <strong>2022</strong><br />

Policy Forum (Margot Bean and Connie Chesnik), DEI was highlighted.<br />

We’ve had conversations with Zenell Brown, Esq., from her Policy Forum<br />

plenary and her book, Coffee and Conversations: Inclusion and Belonging.<br />

We’ve also talked with Cheng Yu How from (then) LA County Office of<br />

Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging; Tish Keahna, and later Sandy Cloer and<br />

Marsha Harlan, on the National Tribal Child Support Association (NTCSA);<br />

Dr. James Rodriguez of the Fathers and Family Coalition of America about<br />

the need for fathers’ increased participation in the child support program;<br />

Patience (Polly) Crozier and Diane Potts on the 2017 Uniform Parentage<br />

Act and inclusion of same-sex parents for establishing parentage; and Dr.<br />

Deirdre S. Williams on continuing the DEI conversation after speaking at<br />

the <strong>2022</strong> NCSEA Policy Forum—and the challenge to live what you are<br />

learning!<br />

What Goes Into It?<br />

Once the podcast producers secure their topic and speaker, they continue<br />

to collaborate about questions to provide to their guest. The list of<br />

questions is negotiated ahead of time and usually includes an insider’s

guide to the speaker: where they are from; their role in the child support<br />

program; how they got their start; interesting, fun facts; and professional<br />

accolades. The goal is for the listener to feel connected to the speaker, and<br />

to be drawn into the subject matter.<br />

We arrange a date and time for recording, with usually an hour being<br />

reserved for any overage or technology gaffes. In the first days of On<br />

Location, we recorded while seated around a table, all of us facing a USB<br />

podcast microphone, which was either plugged into a laptop or a smart<br />

phone. These events were recorded using a voice app, such as the Voice<br />

Memos app on the host’s iPhone. As many as 11 podcast recordings were<br />

recorded at the NCSEA Policy Forum, where we found a breakout room to<br />

set up and record. We carefully backed up these recordings to Dropbox<br />

(due to the size of the audio file) and saved them for the trip back home.<br />

Given the large number of interviews in two-and-a-half conference days,<br />

we edited the recordings so they could be in a queue for release—one at a<br />

time, each week or two. The Policy Forum provided a captive environment<br />

where child support professionals were gathered, so it was an opportune<br />

time to record.<br />

But then the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019. Conferences and events<br />

shifted to virtual platforms for attendance. And accordingly, NCSEA On<br />

Location shifted as well. On Location took on a new meaning, reflecting the<br />

different physical locations where guests and hosts were recording.<br />

Podcasters were fortunate to have MS Teams, Zoom, and other audiovideo<br />

platforms to record remotely. In the latter part of the pandemic (as we<br />

are hoping), other recording platforms surfaced that allowed multiple audio<br />

tracks to be recorded (one for each voice), such as Zencastr.com. These<br />

multi-channel platforms made it easier and more efficient to edit out a<br />

sneeze, a cough, a phone ringing, or as people worked remotely from<br />

home, a doorbell or siren.<br />

The podcast editors would then edit using the software of their choice,<br />

ranging from GarageBand for Mac to Movavi and Audiotronic for PCs. They<br />

removed awkward silences, “ums,” and stumbles, all to create a polished<br />

product for the listener. The On Location theme music was placed at the<br />

front and back of each episode—not only adding to the professional<br />

production but branding the podcast product as well.<br />

In the early days, we used PodOmatic to release the podcasts. Today, we<br />

upload On Location’s final podcast audio files to Anchor.fm for release. We

add a title and description and schedule episodes for auto-release on the<br />

next Wednesday morning at 5:00 AM Eastern Time for maximum listener<br />

engagement.<br />

What Makes a Good Podcast?<br />

With such a variety of content available for the child support community,<br />

“good” content may very well depend on each individual listener’s tastes<br />

and interests. So making a good podcast requires a variety of topics,<br />

speaker locales, and even podcast length. In general, On Location<br />

attempts to keep episodes within 30-40 minutes in length; however, some<br />

may be of shorter or longer duration. The podcast medium allows listeners<br />

to stop or pause the playing of the podcast and continue it later, or choose<br />

a podcast based on length. It really is about listeners and their availability.<br />

Beyond this, a truly good podcast is one where guests exhibit passion and<br />

excitement. This energy is heightened by the hosts catching the buzz and<br />

giving the opportunity for the listeners to catch on. It is this engagement,<br />

centered around passion, that provides for a memorable listening<br />

experience and podcast episode.<br />

Fan Favorites<br />

After 72 On Location podcasts, there are several listener favorites. The top<br />

ten episodes from an analytical perspective, and in order from most<br />

listened to, are:<br />

1. The Pass-Through: Flowing More Collections to the Family (150<br />

plays)<br />

2. Intergovernmental Hot Topics! (133 plays)<br />

3. A New Take on the Child Support Pass-Through Payment<br />

4. Customer Service: Lifeline to Child Support (113 plays)<br />

5. Child Support Awareness: Focus on Families (110 plays)<br />

6. Tear Down the Wall: Breaking the Wall Between Probation<br />

Supervision and Child Support Enforcement (104 plays)<br />

7. Helping Families Thrive: Principles of Procedural Justice (102 plays)<br />

8. A Conversation and Update of NCSEA’s Policy and Government<br />

Relations (PGR) Committee<br />

9. Who Do We Serve, and Do We Serve Them Well? (99 plays)<br />

10.Perspectives on the Child Support Program and Engaging Fathers<br />

(Pt. 1) (93 plays)

Top Episodes<br />

This author’s favorite episodes in addition to those already mentioned<br />

would also include A Conversation with ERICSA President Patrick Quinn;<br />

Pairing Social Work with Child Support; As the World Changed in an<br />

Instant; The Intergovernmental Roundtable Discussions; and On Location<br />

at the NCSEA Policy Forum - Part 1 of 3 (with Dr. Stephen Golightly). This<br />

list could go on and on. Find the catalogue of On Location podcasts here<br />

and choose your favorites: https://anchor.fm/ncseaonlocation.<br />

What’s Next?<br />

What is in the future for NCSEA On Location? A continued upward<br />

trajectory in content and volume may be on the horizon. Buzzsprout gives<br />

us a little more glimpse into what is coming: iv<br />

• Industry experts expect podcasting to grow significantly in <strong>2022</strong> as<br />

on-demand audio increases in popularity.<br />

• Current estimates project that listeners in the U.S. could increase<br />

from 75.9 million to 100 million listeners by 2024.<br />

• Forecasts project total podcast listeners will exceed 160 million by<br />

2023.<br />

Whatever may happen, NCSEA will be there to continue to lead the way<br />

and be the voice of the child support community.<br />

NCSEA On Location is a testament to a special endeavor to provide an<br />

audio format of child support related topics so that our NCSEA membership<br />

listens to, finds value in, and engages with relevant information. As each<br />

episode concludes, the guests are thanked, and our listeners are<br />

acknowledged, On Location is extremely thankful that this podcast medium<br />

continues to expand and grow. Ending credits say it best: “On Location is<br />

available on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and<br />

anywhere you get your podcasts from. So be sure to subscribe and check<br />

out our previous work as well. We also appreciate your ratings, feedback,<br />

comments, and suggestions. If you have an idea for a topic or would like to<br />

be a guest on the show, please reach out to us using the contact link on<br />

our website [customerservice@ncsea.org]. On Location is a production of<br />

the Communications Committee, with special production assistance from<br />

Tim Lightner and me [Joe Mamlin]. This has been On Location.”

Timothy (Tim) Lightner is a Child Support Specialist II with the State of Alaska’s Child<br />

Support Services Division located in Anchorage, Alaska. During his career of 23 years<br />

with AK CSSD, he has held a variety of roles. Tim has been involved with multiple<br />

committees with the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) since<br />

2010 and currently serves on the Communications Committee, Podcast Subcommittee<br />

(Chair); NCSEA CommuniQue Committee, and the Leadership Symposium Planning<br />

Committee. He was elected to serve as a member of NCSEA’s Board of Directors from<br />

2017 – 2020 and was re-elected in 2021 for another term. Tim has been involved with<br />

producing, recording diverse interviews, and editing the popular NCSEA On Location<br />

podcast since 2018.<br />

i<br />

Wise, Jason. “Podcast Statistics <strong>2022</strong>: How Many Podcasts Are There?” Earthweb,<br />

https://earthweb.com/podcaststatistics/#:~:text=There%20Are%20Over%202%20Million,Million%20Listeners%20Across%20the%20W<br />

orld, Accessed April 1, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

ii<br />

Brooke, Alban. “Podcast Statistics and Data [March <strong>2022</strong>].” Buzzsprout,<br />

https://www.buzzsprout.com/blog/podcast-statistics, Accessed April 1, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

iii<br />

Id.<br />

iv<br />


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