January 2023 CSQ

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Table of Contents

January 2023

Executive Director’s Message……………………………………………3

Community Corner: Thank you, dear friend. You will be missed……..5

Taking a New Look at Appropriate Medicaid Referrals to Child


Self-Assessments and Data Reliability Audits…….…………………..15

Intergovernmental Hot Topics Part 2…………………………………...21

Teleworking Tips…………………………………………………………..27

Policy Forum Preview…......................................................................32

NCSEA U Alumni Spotlight……………………………………………….36

Ann Marie Ruskin

NCSEA Executive Director

In September of 2010, I received an email in response to a job application I

submitted. It was from the Executive Director of the National Child Support

Enforcement Association, and she wanted to interview me for an open

position. I had never heard of the National Child Support Enforcement

Association, and my only knowledge of child support was supporting a

good friend trying to collect ordered child support from an absent father and

ex-husband. But, that day I started on a journey that has brought me not

only tremendous professional satisfaction, but wonderful friends and

colleagues and a true appreciation for the child support community, and the

critically important work they do.

One of the first things I learned after joining NCSEA is that the IV-D

program is . . . complicated! Just when I thought I understood the program

administration or process, I discovered a new complexity. To this day, I am

constantly learning about the program and trying to understand its many

details and nuances.

Directing NCSEA’s professional development programs from 2010 to 2015,

I worked with knowledgeable, dedicated volunteers and proudly introduced

NCSEA U and Leadership Symposium to the child support community.

With a background in government relations, I was eager to work with the

Policy & Government Relations committee and subcommittees, and

enjoyed the opportunity to promote legislation to improve the IV-D program

and make positive changes to help families.

From February 2016 to February 2018, I worked on two other MCI USA

(our association management company) clients. While the work brought me

satisfaction and it was nice meeting and working with new people,

something was missing. The something was the organizations’ mission, a

commitment to the greater good. And so, when the opportunity came to

eturn to NCSEA, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I missed the people, I

missed the work, and most of all I missed NCSEA’s mission impacting

policy and supporting children and families. I felt I was “home” again.

Since February 2018, I have had the privilege to lead NCSEA, working with

an incredible staff including Katie, Gillyn, Kate, LaTrese, Sierra, and

Amalia, as well as wonderful officers, board members, and committee

leads and members. It’s been an adventure for sure—breaking attendance

records for both the Policy Forum and the Leadership Symposium,

establishing strong financial performance, increased engagement on

Capitol Hill with policy-makers, and managing the topsy-turvy world of the

pandemic! We were faced with new challenges, and I feel we rose to the

occasion each time. And I knew I always had the support and backing of

the NCSEA leadership.

So, as I approach retirement, I want to say thank you . . . to the NCSEA

officers, board members, committee chairs, and committee members (all

past and present), for supporting me and encouraging me, for lots of laughs

and good times. NCSEA will continue to flourish because volunteers are

the heart of the organization—the dedication of its members and their

passion for helping children and families is amazing! I’m constantly in awe

of you who work tirelessly to lift children out of poverty, and improve the

lives of children and families. It is an honor to refer to you all as friends and


I look forward to retirement and spending quality time with family and

friends. But I will miss all of you, as well as the work we do. Good luck and

best wishes for success to each and every one of you as you continue to

advance the important mission of NCSEA well into the future!

With warm wishes,

Ann Marie with two of her four treasured grandchildren—Maximus and Blair

Thank you, dear friend. You will be missed

by Jim Fleming, NCSEA President

Most of us have experienced that dreaded moment when a colleague you

really like announces her retirement. You simultaneously want to shout “no”

and “hurray for you!” You will badly miss the retiree, yet you really can’t

fault someone who says “I want to spend more time golfing and playing

with my grandchildren.” All you can do is face the reality of “all good things

must come to an end.”

NCSEA Executive Director Ann Marie Ruskin will be retiring at the end of

February 2023. No matter how many months of advance notice she gives

us, there is still no filling her shoes.

Ann Marie started with NCSEA in September 2010 directing professional

development and education. In her words, “Since then, I have had the

privilege of working with the most passionate, dedicated group of people

that comprise NCSEA.” After a brief hiatus from 2016–18, the NCSEA

Board of Directors invited Ann Marie to rejoin NCSEA as Executive Director

and we are very glad she said “yes.”

Highlights of Ann Marie’s tenure include our

robust Corporate Partner program and

implementation of free webinars as a benefit of

NCSEA membership. NCSEA is a thriving

organization today in no small part due to the

talent, commitment, and stewardship of Ann Marie

Ruskin. Thank you so much, Ann Marie—your

Ann Marie & husband, Glenn

husband, three children, and four grandchildren will be very lucky to enjoy

more of your time. You will be missed!

Here is a collection of some parting words from some of Ann Marie’s

colleagues during her service as NCSEA Executive Director:

• Tanguler Gray, NCSEA President 2019–2020: “I hate so much to see

her go. I want her to know how much I respect and appreciate all she’s

done for NCSEA, especially during my presidency when she said I was

acting like a madwoman trying to educate people about our membership

benefits. She’s always been in the right place at the right time to capture

that perfect moment. Thank you and happy retirement!”

• Katie Kenney, NCSEA Senior Manager for Professional Development:

“Without exaggeration, Ann Marie is the most gracious person under

whose direction I’ve ever had the pleasure of working. She has an

innate ability to identify people’s strengths and empower them to act

independently and confidently. I am so grateful for the opportunity to

have worked with her and hope to continue the legacy of her dedication

to NCSEA. She’s also an amazing resource for a mean cocktail recipe.”

• Lori Bengston, NCSEA President 2020–2021: “I always valued Ann

Marie as the NCSEA Executive Director, but it was not until I was

NCSEA President that I fully realized the dedication she has to our

organization. Ann Marie juggles so many priorities and always made

sure I was ready for whatever was next as NCSEA President. I truly do

not know what I would have done without her organization skills and

ability to handle so many competing demands. I will always remember

her as an exceptional leader and a true friend, and I wish her a long and

happy retirement!”

• Lisa Skenandore, NCSEA President 2019–2020: “My first experience

with NCSEA was as an ex officio board member in my role as NTCSA

president. Ann Marie consistently went out of her way to welcome me

and always had a warm hug in greeting. I always felt comfortable in her

presence. This warmth and hospitality has continued to this day. I will

always be grateful for Ann Marie's kind and welcoming presence and

most of all friendship. All the best.”

• Gillyn Croog, formerly NCSEA Director for Professional Development:

“When I first joined NCSEA, Ann Marie told me, ‘You will get to work

with the best people. They are good people, trying to do great things for

kids. I really have missed them.’ If you are not aware, Ann Marie

stepped away from NCSEA for a few years and worked on other

projects. When the Executive Director’s job opened, the Board asked

her to return. NCSEA needed seasoned leadership—someone familiar

with the organization, fiercely protective of the mission, able to make

hard decisions, and focused on NCSEA’s best interests—and she was

the perfect partner, who happily reengaged whole heartedly. She had

missed the mission and most of all the people. She worked tirelessly for

the good of NCSEA and enjoyed every minute; I was lucky to have been

there with her for part of her journey. She is a rare gem in every sense

of the word. Looking back, when she said you get to work with the best

people, she wasn’t talking about herself, but she absolutely is the best of

the best. While she is off enjoying retirement—time with her kids,

grandkids, and Glenn—she will miss you. You NCSEA people have a

With daughter Kara and sons Bryan and Kyle

habit of making a lasting impression on people. I know that from

experience. But I want to let you in on a little secret: you will miss her

more. Trust me, I know that from experience.”

• Sharon Pizzuti, NCSEA Treasurer: “Ann Marie has always embraced

NCSEA with a motivating compassion. She has a clear mission to see

people flourishing in their fullness. Her empathy and commitment drive

the NCSEA community to aim higher for the good of others. She always

set her sights on noble goals and was committed to not give up. She has

inspired me and others to step outside of comfort zones and be changed

y the experience and I am grateful. Congratulations to you, Ann Marie,

and Godspeed in your retirement journey!”

• Craig Burshem, NCSEA President 2018–2019: “I had the distinct honor

of working closely with Ann Marie when I was NCSEA president. She

was unfailingly kind, professional, helpful, and unflappable, and she

made my job so much easier. Ann Marie is one of those people

everyone turns to for advice and answers, and her vast experience has

been invaluable in keeping NCSEA running smoothly for many years.

She somehow always knows what to do even when no one else does!

They say no one is irreplaceable, but Ann Marie is certainly the

exception to that rule. NCSEA and the whole child support community

are better for having had Ann Marie as their advocate and support. Her

work over the years has undoubtedly improved the lives of countless

families. I am grateful to call her my colleague and even more grateful to

call her my friend. Wishing Ann Marie many happy years of retirement.

She will be sorely missed!”

• Ashley Dexter, NCSEA Secretary: “Ann Marie is so genuinely

passionate about NCSEA, professional development, and partnerships. I

served as the Leadership Symposium planning committee co-chair for 3

years and Ann Marie always kept the true purpose of the Leadership

Symposium—Professional Development and Leadership—at the

forefront of planning committee activities. Ann Marie graciously values

input and feedback and has elevated the value of the corporate partner

program each and every year for partners and NCSEA. Her commitment

to NCSEA, its mission, and its members is amazing. Most of all, Ann

Marie always has a smile and hug even when she is running around like

crazy at conferences. She will be sorely missed, but I wish her a very

happy retirement and lots of birdies!”

• Erin Frisch, NCSEA President-Elect: “Being executive director of an

organization like NCSEA takes adept organizational skills, being open

and welcoming to a diverse group of people, and in many ways leading

from behind the scenes. Ann Marie has done all this and more with

incredible grace and an unwavering positive attitude. We have come to

expect the best through her leadership, and these will be hard shoes to

fill! Thank you, Ann Marie, for adopting our cause as your own and

ecoming a dear friend in the process. Best wishes for many happy

days ahead!”

• Diane Potts, NCSEA President 2017–2018: “I was so happy when Ann

Marie decided to come back to NCSEA in 2018. She served for more

than four years as our Executive Director and led NCSEA to success

during that time in many ways that included bringing in amazingly

talented folks like Gillyn and Katie. Ann Marie, you will be missed by all

of us!”

With granddaughter Reagan and the newest family member, Baby Lincoln

The words of my fellow officers, former NCSEA presidents, and our past

and present team members capture so well what has made Ann Marie a

tremendous Executive Director. Through a decade on the NCSEA board

and nearly six years on the Executive Committee, I have had countless

honest and candid conversations with Ann Marie on NCSEA matters, and it

has always been reassuring to know that someone so skilled and kind with

such good instincts has been at the helm of our organization. Thank you

and farewell!

Taking a New Look at Appropriate

Medicaid Referrals to Child Support

by Jim Fleming, North Dakota Child Support


In July 2022, guidance was issued by the federal Administration for

Children and Families (ACF) reiterating that federal law requires referrals

from the Foster Care program to Child Support only “where appropriate.” i

This flexibility is not new. It was previously acknowledged by ACF at least

as early as September 6, 2007. ii

The renewed guidance and support from ACF for selective referrals has

triggered a new round of discussion around the country on how the Child

Support and Foster Care programs can better cooperate to support

reunification efforts of families with children in Foster Care and avoid

referrals of unproductive cases.

This article suggests comparable attention should be spent analyzing

appropriate referrals from the Medicaid program to Child Support.

Since at least 2008, which is nearly as long as the Foster Care guidance

has been in place, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has

similarly indicated that referrals from the Medicaid program to Child

Support are not required in all cases:

Title XIX of the Act, and its implementing regulations or guidance, do

not require State Medicaid agencies to refer Medicaid applicants or

recipients to State IV-D agencies. Therefore, a State Medicaid

agency may determine which cases are appropriate to refer to State

IV-D agencies. State IV-D and Medicaid agencies should coordinate

to determine criteria for referring appropriate cases and exchanging

information by the most efficient and cost-effective means available

(using manual or automated systems). OCSE IM-08-03 (April 22,

2008). iii

This flexibility was enhanced in 2016 when federal regulations were

changed to authorize child support agencies to close a case that is opened

as the result of an inappropriate referral. iv

One could suggest, perhaps only somewhat

sarcastically, that medical support joins

distribution and intergovernmental as a

“special” area of thankless expertise

frequently assigned to the newest policy

person in a child support agency. All three

topics can be very complicated and take a

long time (if ever) to master.

Analysis of “appropriate” Medicaid referrals should begin at the end—what

is the desired outcome in the case? In other words, what does Medicaid

want to accomplish by referring the case to Child Support?

As amended in late 2016, federal regulations accept both public coverage

and private insurance as acceptable forms of medical support. v So, if a

state is content with the child being covered by Medicaid without seeking

replacement private coverage or cost recovery through a cash medical

support obligation that is often uncollectible, why bother with a referral?

The answer may also depend on whether paternity has been established

for the child.

It is worth noting that most health care exchanges and Medicaid

applications do not do an adequate job collecting information about

noncustodial parents from custodial parents who are seeking health care

coverage. To this author, the implied message is that it is not a priority for

the child support program to establish and enforce medical support in

Medicaid cases.

Federal regulations suggest an opt-out approach to Medicaid referrals

regarding establishment and enforcement of child support: the child support

agency must provide all IV-D services “unless the individual notifies the

State that only IV-D services related to securing medical support are

wanted.” vi The requirement of an “opt out” for child support services in

Medicaid cases warrants development of effective pre-referral processes

where the Medicaid agency gives the custodial parent an informed

opportunity to provide any needed information about the noncustodial

parent and express a preference regarding receipt of child support

services. If the custodial parent is not cooperative, or is not interested in

receiving child support services, a Medicaid-only referral to Child Support

can be avoided.

Alternatively, the child support agency could develop intake procedures

where supplemental information is automatically requested from a custodial

parent after a

Medicaid referral prior

to setting up a child

support case, and the

case is closed as an

inappropriate referral if

the needed response

or information is not

forthcoming within a

predefined period of

In preparing for this article, the author asked a

handful of state directors about their current

Medicaid referral practices. The responses varied

widely from referring all Medicaid-only cases to

not referring any Medicaid cases regardless of

whether the custodial parent opted out of child

support services.

time. Either approach would successfully limit Medicaid referrals to cases

where beneficial child support and medical support services can be

provided to a cooperative custodial parent.

In preparing for this article, the author asked a handful of state directors

about their current Medicaid referral practices. The responses varied widely

from referring all Medicaid-only cases to not referring any Medicaid cases

regardless of whether the custodial parent opted out of child support


A complicating factor is a federal regulation providing that a Medicaid

recipient cannot be required to provide an application or other request for

services in order to obtain child support services. vii In a state where

Medicaid cases are not referred and the custodial parent needs to apply for

child support services, one could wonder whether this regulation is being

honored. The regulation may be outdated.

Why spend time analyzing Medicaid referrals? In the author’s state for

example, which still has broad referral policies for both Foster Care and

Medicaid cases, there are roughly three times as many open Medicaid-only

cases as Foster Care cases. The same proportion would apply to the

Former Assistance caseload. The potential efficiencies through improved

Medicaid referral processes are significant and surpass the similar

efficiencies that could be achieved through improved Foster Care referral

processes (which the author strongly supports as well).

This article is not meant to suggest the fewer Medicaid referrals, the better.

To the contrary, Medicaid is a means-tested program. If a family is

receiving Medicaid but is not yet eligible for benefits under other programs

such as TANF, a Medicaid referral can be a key gateway to child support

services that can help provide funds to families and promote selfsufficiency.

The time between the original application for Medicaid and the

opening of a child support case is critical to screen appropriate cases,

including domestic violence screening, and gather the information needed

for the case to move forward.

This article is limited to the Medicaid referral

process and does not delve into the

complexities of establishing and enforcing

medical support, especially amid a decline

in the availability of employer-provided

coverage. In the time since federal medical

support regulations were significantly

changed in 2008, medical support policy

development has followed a tortured path of enactment of the Affordable

Care Act, implementation of the health care exchanges, delayed

compliance with the 2008 mandates, and ultimately the expansion of

“health care coverage” in 2016 to include public coverage. viii

Ironically, efforts to improve the quality of Medicaid referrals will lead only

to further reduction of the child support caseload in many states. As states

work to develop “smarter” referral practices, it would therefore seem

important to communicate with internal and external stakeholders that a

reduction in total caseload can be expected and is not necessarily a

negative outcome.


OCSE IM-14-01 was issued before states were authorized to close

inappropriate referrals, but otherwise provides helpful guidance to states on

making informed decisions about Medicaid referrals: “[w]hile establishing or

updating Medicaid referral policies, States should consider cost

effectiveness, safety, and the desired child support outcomes for the

family.” The IM lists the negative impacts of inappropriate referrals and

offers four strategies (not including case closure) to collaborate with the

Medicaid agency.

Flexibility to avoid inappropriate referrals, whether from Foster Care or

Medicaid, is a great opportunity for child support agencies to conserve

scarce resources and improve the quality and effectiveness of referrals.

Not to mention improvement in performance for which we all strive.


James C. Fleming is the director of the Child Support Section of the North Dakota

Department of Health and Human Services, President of the National Child Support

Enforcement Association (NCSEA), member of the Board of Directors for the Western

Intergovernmental Child Support Engagement Council (WICSEC), and former President

of the National Council of Child Support Directors (NCCSD). Jim is a member and

former co-chair of NCSEA’s Policy and Government Relations Committee and

NCCSD’s Policy and Practice Committee, and a member of the editorial committee for

the NCSEA Child Support CommuniQue. Jim also co-chairs NCCSD’s Employer

Collaboration Committee.Jim was named the 2022 recipient of the American Payroll

Association’s Government Partner Award. He has been an assistant attorney general

for North Dakota for 28 years, following a clerkship with the North Dakota Supreme

Court. Jim and his wife Terri are the proud parents of four daughters and were recently

blessed with a perfect granddaughter.


OCSE DCL-22-06 (July 29, 2022). The DCL attached a joint letter from the Children’s Bureau

and Office of Child Support Enforcement announcing changes to the Child Welfare Policy



ACF IM-07-06 (September 6, 2007). See also ACF IM-12-06 (August 1, 2012).


See also OCSE DCL-00-122 (December 22, 2000) (attaching a December 19, 2000, letter

from the HHS Health Care Finance Agency to state Medicaid directors).


45 CFR § 303.11(b)(20).


45 CFR § 303.31(a).


45 CFR § 302.33(a)(5).


45 CFR § 302.33(a)(2).


For a thorough analysis of the choices and considerations in pursing medical support, see

MEDICAL SUPPORT 2.0: Re-Positioning Medical Support in the Changing Landscape of Health

Insurance, Robert G. (Bob) Williams, Ph.D. (July 25, 2019).

Self-Assessments and Data Reliability Audits:

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

by Gay Harris, Arizona Department of Economic Security

Brian Miele, Arizona Department of Economic Security

Liz Schriber, Georgia Division of Child Support Services

One of the best strategies to prepare for federal audits is to establish a

solid self-assessment process. Self-assessment and internal data reliability

audits are management tools for states to gauge and improve their

performance. For a self-assessment process to be an effective tool for

management, it must provide accurate and reliable information. The

information provided should identify program strengths, weaknesses, and

relevant estimates of current performance levels. This provides leadership

teams with data to make informed decisions.

Child support offices in Arizona and Georgia

have seen a lot of good come from their selfassessment

processes and they have been able

to prevent negative results on self-assessment

and internal audits.

Start with the Good

There are various ways to establish a good self-assessment process that

helps ensure favorable results when being audited by the federal Office of

Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). States have options in terms of where

they establish a self-assessment unit. For example, a unit can be

established within the IV-D agency, as is done in Georgia, or within an

umbrella agency containing

the IV-D agency, as is done

in Arizona with its

Department of Economic

Security (ADES). Other

options include establishing a

unit within another state

As a result of their self-assessment and

data reliability efforts, Arizona and

Georgia have continued to receive

favorable results in their federal Data

Reliability Audits (DRAs).

agency or using contracted staff from a private company. One key to

success is ensuring that those conducting self-assessments have a healthy

degree of separation and independence from those managing the cases. In

Arizona and Georgia, teams are solely designated to conduct these

required self-assessments to help ensure data reliability. Another key to

success is that these teams follow well-defined self-assessment processes

that ensure consistency and efficiency. For example:

● In Arizona, a team of auditors is solely dedicated to conducting selfassessments

for each of Arizona’s 14 offices annually, and is

responsible for submitting the annual audit to the OCSE. In addition,

they conduct internal data reliability audits each month. The audit

team is located within the ADES Office of Inspector General and is

structurally independent of program management. In addition to

having its audit processes well-documented, these auditors have

prior experience managing cases, and in addition, are overseen by

an audit supervisor.

● In Georgia, a performance management team–consisting of

individuals who have no case management responsibilities–conducts

a statewide annual self-assessment review of program operations

and compliance with internal standard operating procedures (SOPs),

financial reviews of internal units, and special projects. These

processes are well established and evolving to increase efficiency.

As a result of their self-assessment and data reliability efforts, Arizona and

Georgia have continued to receive favorable results in their federal Data

Reliability Audits (DRAs). With this, they have avoided monetary penalties

imposed when federal data reliability benchmarks are not met, and

continue to receive incentive funding to benefit the child support program.

Avoid the Bad

Even if a self-assessment process is established with an independent team

that has a documented process, this could still result in a negative outcome

without considering a few additional keys to success. For example, an

office may have a pattern of underperforming in

a particular area, or new problems may arise

that result in underserving clients or losing time

and money. A key strategy for preventing

repeat problems is to address the root cause of

problems identified in self-assessments.

Further, a key strategy for preventing new problems is to use selfassessment

processes to proactively identify and address high-risk areas.

Examples of these strategies include the following:

● In Arizona, the team conducting individual self-assessment audits

evaluates cases against the criteria for the eight federal requirements

to ensure benchmarks are met for each criterion. As a proactive

measure, cases are also evaluated for quality control to identify highrisk

areas such as ensuring support orders are promptly added to the

child support system so that families receive the support payments on

time. The internal data reliability audit team reviews sample data

each month and uses a similar methodology used by federal auditors.

They validate the data on the child support system to ensure the

information is correct. The team has also identified the root causes of

problems in the cases that directly impact the federal requirements or

the OCSE-157 line items, which has resulted in updates to specific

procedures for the Division.

● In Georgia, for this federal fiscal year, its performance management

team is taking a holistic approach to conducting compliance reviews

y using case samples from each office, which will be reviewed by

the financial, paternity, and self-assessment teams. Georgia’s

Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) has taken several

proactive steps to improve data reliability and performance. For

example, DCSS creates a report based on a proactive review using

the data relationship schedule, which is typically provided to states

during a federal DRA or federal Data Reliability Review (DRR). The

proactive relationship schedule compares the same performance line

logic and is reviewed prior

to the end of the federal

fiscal year. Another report

proactively reviewed for

data reliability is the “All

Child” report, which as its

name suggests, contains

paternity and support order

information for all children.

Reviews are also conducted for SOPs that may have higher

standards than the federal compliance requirements. The Same Day

Service SOP’s timeframe to establish a IV-D case is the day the

application is received, or within three business days based on the

application type. This differs from the 20-day federal requirement in

an effort to ensure compliance, efficiently process requests for

service, and provide excellent customer service.

Transform the Ugly

No matter how good or bad the self-assessment process looks on paper, it

will be ugly without a culture of collaborative communication between those

conducting a self-assessment and those benefiting from it. The

independent nature of the self-assessment team helps keep results

consistent and unbiased but should not make the team come off as cold,

aloof, or ignorant. Those managing the cases should not feel afraid of the

team or feel like the team has them under a microscope. Instead, the team

should act as, and be viewed as, a trusted partner that will help ensure the

agency is ready for OCSE audits. A culture of open communication and

respect will go a long way in preventing the “bad” things mentioned above.

Below are some ideas on how to help establish such a culture:

● In Arizona, a collaborative meeting between the audit team and

DCSS leadership resulted in getting a good perspective on how the

audit reports can add value to benefit the program. Further, the audit

team developed a survey to obtain valuable feedback about its selfassessment

and data reliability reports. As a result, the audit team is

working to add additional information to the report to make it easier

for case managers to review the report without having to do further

research. The audit team also expanded its exit conferences to

encourage the whole office to attend–including line staff–rather than

meeting with only the office manager to discuss the audit process and

the report. This change in the style of the meeting was especially

informative to case managers who were new to the child support

program and helped them realize how vital their role is to ensure data

is accurate and reliable. Their attendance also allowed case

managers to ask questions about how the audit team reviews the

information. This collaboration with the entire office created a

partnership and open communication even if the result of the audit

report was not favorable. The audit team can be viewed as a trusted

partner with the child support division.

● In Georgia, DCSS held virtual training sessions for staff—including

case managers and their supervisors— to explain the importance of

data reliability in audits, and its impact on incentive awards. The DRA

process is a team effort involving staff in local offices and state office

units. This year, DCSS held a virtual kick-off meeting with managers

to discuss the process and outcomes from the prior year’s audit to

help identify improvements for next year. A similar closeout meeting

will be planned after the final report is issued.


Child support programs can face federal audits with confidence by following

a few keys to success. These keys include establishing an independent

and well-documented self-assessment process, using self-assessment

audits to address the root causes of problems, proactively identifying and

addressing high-risk areas, and ensuring a culture of collaborative

communications between those conducting the self-assessment audits and

those managing the cases. Ultimately, the goal is to not only pass OCSE

audits with flying colors but to provide the best possible experience for the

clients served.


Gay Harris is currently an Audit Supervisor for the Arizona Department of Economic

Security (ADES) and joined the Office of Inspector General, Internal Audit

Administration office in 2012 to conduct internal data reliability and control selfassessment

audits. Prior to that, she worked in ADES, Division of Child Support

Services for 25 years in various roles as a case manager and conducting internal audits

for the Division. She has extensive knowledge and experience in the child support

program specifically in data reliability and control self-assessment. She attended

Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, and received a degree in

business education. She is also a Certified Inspector General Auditor.

Brian Miele is the Chief Auditor for the Arizona Department of Economic Security

(ADES). He joined ADES in 2019 and has been involved in auditing the Arizona state

government since 2006. Brian received a Master of Public Administration from Brigham

Young University and is a Certified Inspector General Auditor.

Liz Schriber currently serves as the Strategic Performance Planning Manager for the

Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

She has been with DCSS since 2006. She is an NCSEA U Alumni and Co-chair of the

NCSEA Research Subcommittee. Liz has extensive data analysis experience and

comes up with creative ways to identify trends and opportunities for improvement. Liz

has a Bachelor of Political Science degree with a minor in sociology from the University

of Georgia.

Intergovernmental Hot Topics! Part 2

by Rob Velcoff

Intergovernmental Support Services

The January 2022 Child Support CommuniQue included part one of

“Intergovernmental Hot Topics!.” If that article left you wanting more, please

allow me to introduce Part 2. In the first article, we discussed items such as

interstate payment processing, enforcement of “dead” cases, and $0

orders. Now let’s add a few more controversial subjects to the list.

Interstate Case Closure Regulations

There are currently 21 case closure criteria listed in CFR § 303.11. Of

these, a responding jurisdiction in a two-state interstate case has only three

at its disposal for case closure:

(17) The responding agency documents failure by the initiating

agency to take an action that is essential for the next step in providing


(18) The initiating agency has notified the responding State that the

initiating State has closed its case under § 303.7(c)(11);

(19) The initiating agency has notified the responding State that its

intergovernmental services are no longer needed;

The other 18 criteria can be used only by an initiating jurisdiction. That

means that if the initiating jurisdiction wants the responding jurisdiction to

keep a two-state interstate case open, the responding jurisdiction has to do

so even if one or more of the other 18 case closure criteria apply in its

jurisdiction. Remember, the federal case closure criteria are optional, not

mandatory. States may choose which ones they do or do not want to use.

Let’s say the responding jurisdiction normally closes a local case in its own

state using criterion #9(i), “The noncustodial parent's sole income is from

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments ….” But if the initiating

jurisdiction does not use that particular criterion, the responding jurisdiction

would have to keep such a case open. They might have previously closed

several in-state cases that met these circumstances, but they would have

to keep an interstate case open. This defies logic, to say nothing of the fact

that it would be very difficult to have to explain to one custodial parent why

her/his case with a given noncustodial parent has to be closed while the

case of a different custodial parent with the same noncustodial parent must

remain open.

This situation cries out for consistency. There is a fear that states will be

closing two-state cases against the wishes of the initiating jurisdictions.

Perhaps. But this would not occur very often. In fact, in an attempt to

mandate cooperation, the reverse is actually occurring. It would be better to

encourage communication and understanding between the states instead

of trying to force a policy that only works part of the time. Responding

jurisdictions should be able to close their two-state cases if any of their

case closure criteria apply, while the initiating jurisdiction keeps the case

open (if applicable) and works it to the best of their ability as a local onestate

case. If the case circumstances change, the case can always be

made two-state in the future if the given case closure criteria no longer

exists. Trusting states to work out these issues among themselves might

be the better option than attempting to mandate something that

perpetuates inconsistency.


Interest in child support is very controversial – you either love it or you hate

it. States that add interest to their arrears or money judgments generally

think it is an important tool to assist custodial parents in keeping their

financial heads above water when

dealing with delinquent payors. Some

custodial parents may have to go into

debt due to the non-payment of support,

and may end up having to pay interest

on their own overdue bills as a result, so

the extra money received in interest

payments is a way of evening things out.

States that do not charge interest

believe it is just another burden to heap on the backs of parents who are

struggling to meet their financial obligations without having to compile

additional fees onto an often insurmountable sum. We’ve all heard the

stories of arrears-only cases where the noncustodial parent is making

monthly payments but, due to high interest charges, the total arrears

amount due at the end of each month is actually higher despite some

payments being made.

Is there any sort of compromise possible on interstate cases when one

state charges interest and the other state does not? Or when two states

each charge different percentages? For those states that don’t charge

interest on child support arrears or that call for a single percentage

nationwide, remember that

interest rates on money

judgments are not just a child

support thing. States that

charge interest generally do

so on all money judgments,

child support or otherwise,

Interest forgiveness can also be an

important tool when conducting debt

compromise on a case.

and do not have the ability to vary this amount from judgment to judgment.

If a tax judgment charges interest in State A at a rate of 10%, so too would

a child support judgment, and the child support agency enforcing such a

judgment would likely have no discretion when working the case.

Interest forgiveness can also be an important tool when conducting debt

compromise on a case. Many states do this on their TANF caseloads.

States often do this in non-TANF cases as well, either with the custodial

parent’s permission or via state policy. The reasoning behind this approach

makes perfect sense: most parents to whom the support is owed would be

perfectly happy to receive current support and a little something toward the

arrears. To help ensure such payments, interest accruals are something

many of them would be more than willing to forego.

When a responding jurisdiction registers a court order from a state that

charges interest, the registering state is not expected to calculate the

interest. That is the responsibility of the initiating jurisdiction. However, the

responding jurisdiction is expected to enforce the interest that has accrued.

In fact, federal policy requires this. If you recall the information from Part 1

of this article, the state that issued the controlling order has the official

determination of arrears. So when the court order state periodically updates

the arrears figure and adds interest, the responding jurisdiction is bound by

those figures and must enforce them. Updated payment histories are

helpful; a best practice is for annual updates, although if a case is going

into court on an enforcement or a modification petition that would be a good

time for an arrears reconciliation as well. While this is extra work on the

part of the responding jurisdiction, helping each other is part of our jobs.

Explaining to the person paying support why the arrears are so high due to

the interest that is charging is something the child support worker from the

paying parent’s jurisdiction is expected to do.

There has been some discussion about not charging any interest on

interstate cases as a nationwide policy. While initially that might make

sense because it would make everyone’s life easier, I do not agree with

that policy. Noncustodial parents would still be charged interest in many

states; it’s just that said interest would not be enforced by the responding

jurisdiction. So by the time the order terminates and the responding state

closes the two-state case, there could be thousands of dollars in interest

that is still owed on the initiating state’s case record. Asking all states to

waive interest charges on interstate cases is not a viable solution either, as

some child support agencies might not have the authority to do so. Plus

some states think that charging interest is a good thing. Making child

support workers’ lives easier should not be the only goal in interstate case

processing. There are just too many reasons not to introduce such a policy.

While charging interest on child support arrears might be an interesting

topic for debate, remember that the states that charge interest are

generally required by law to do so. There might be no option here. All

states must enforce the accrued interest on those registered orders

whether they agree with the concept or not.

Interstate IWO on UIB

One of the best things that happened when

the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

(UIFSA) came about in 1996 was the

advent of the interstate income withholding

order (IWO). For more than twenty-five

years, states have had the authority to send

wage withholding orders to employers

anywhere in the United States. This has

greatly increased collections, reduced timeframes, cut down on two-state

actions, and resulted in tremendous improvements to the child support

program nationwide. The language in UIFSA is very cut and dried:



order issued in another state may be sent by or on behalf

of the obligee, or by the support enforcement agency, to the person

defined as the obligor’s employer under the income-withholding law

of this state without first filing a petition or comparable pleading or

registering the order with a tribunal of this state.

The next question is, does this section of law also pertain to unemployment

insurance benefits (UIBs)? The answer depends upon whom you ask.

Currently, only 14 states/territories (out of 54, or a little over 25%) permit

this type of withholding: Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan,

Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,

Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virgin

Islands, and Wisconsin. There is

additional information on the

Intergovernmental Reference

Guide (IRG) about this for these

states/territories. For the rest, the

simple explanation is that

unemployment insurance benefits

do not fall under the legal

definition of “income” in that jurisdiction. That is an oversimplification, and

there certainly may be more to it than that.

In most if not all states, UIB intercepts are done via a mass match, not by

individual IWOs. The Unemployment Benefits office may not have the

ability to handle individual IWOs sent one at a time. However, this lack of

resources should not be enough to stop a legally issued formal document.

There has to be something more at work here. The issue likely goes back

to the legal definition of “income” and “employer.” Here is some information

from a very old federal policy document, PIQ-99-04, dated March 22, 1999:

Question 1: Are State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs)

required to process UC intercepts from States other than their own?

Answer: Yes. If the State UI agency is encompassed by the definition

of "employer" within section 501 of the Uniform Interstate Family

Support Act (UIFSA) as enacted by the receiving state, an income

withholding order may be sent directly to the UI agency since it is "the

person or entity defined as the obligor’s employer under [the income

withholding laws of the State]...". Withholding for UI benefits is also

governed by sections 303(e) and 454(a)(19) of the Social Security

Act (the Act).

What this seems to boil down to is the legal definition. Still, the intent of

section 501 of UIFSA is very clear. Since interstate wage withholding works

so well for employment, it would also work equally well for unemployment.

For the three-quarters of the states/territories that do not currently allow

interstate wage withholding for UIBs, reconsidering the definition of

“income” and “employer” would work for the greater good of the child

support program and would ultimately benefit the children and families we

all serve.

Rob Velcoff is an independent child support consultant with his own agency,

Intergovernmental Support Services. Before starting his own agency, Mr. Velcoff

worked for the New York State Division of Child Support Services for over 30 years. Mr.

Velcoff has received several awards, including ERICSA’s Felix Infausto Award

(President’s Award). An individual member of NCSEA, Mr. Velcoff received a BS in

Criminal Justice from the State University College of New York at Brockport and an MA

in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany.

Teleworking Tips as a Service to

Child Support Workers

by Laurel Eaton, Rachel Karch, and Nancy Sonleitner,

University of Oklahoma, Center for Public Management

On March 16, 2020, Oklahoma Child Support Services (CSS) staff, along

with all but essential workers in all areas of employment across Oklahoma

government, were sent home to quarantine in an effort to slow the spread

of COVID-19. The abrupt change in work location and how work was to be

done was a challenge for many CSS workers. In order to keep employees

engaged and still feeling like a part of the CSS team, three members of the

University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management (OU-CPM) i contract

team began writing daily Teleworking Tips.

In order to write a daily one- to two-page article, we used available

resources for inspiration and, in some cases, content. We were careful not

to plagiarize, and we faithfully cited our sources. We focused on the child

support audience and used inclusive language to create and maintain a

cohesive identity of going through the difficulties together. Initially, the

Teleworking Tips concerned technology issues. Before quarantine, and

with an eye on the future, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services

(OKDHS) administration ii was making a move toward using more

technology, including Microsoft Office 365. The Teleworking Tips first

began addressing how to use Teams, its various features, and ways to

keep in touch with co-workers in “offices” that were no longer housed


“Thank you, thank you! It

always seems that

whenever I’m feeling down

or stuck, along comes the

perfect tip! I loved the one

about the stretching

exercise the other day, and

then today up pops ‘Just

Breathe.’ Again, thanks a


The Teleworking Tips team includes a

talented artist who made the Tips visually

interesting so more child support staff

would be enticed to look at the Daily Tip to

see what it was all about.

Our artist-in-residence created an

imaginative logo for Tips articles, as well

as for new Technology Training articles

and health and wellness articles we

created for child support field workers. The

backgrounds and images used were

engaging and sometimes amusing. The

team is lucky to have this person, and we are proud of her contributions to

the aesthetic of the Tips.

As we settled into our daily production routine, the Teleworking Tips team

became aware of concerns about staying safe and healthy during the early

months of quarantine. Many businesses were closed; just about the only

open businesses were grocery stores and pharmacies. The team wrote

articles on mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, and DIY

cleaning products.

As the weeks turned into months, it became clear that vacations and

cruises were not going to happen, and movie theaters, restaurants, and

other entertainment venues were still closed. Seeing that the child support

workforce might need a distraction and some recreation, the team wrote

articles on amusement parks, museums

around the world, U.S. National Parks,

online zoos, and night sky gazing.

Articles offered virtual roller coaster

rides, featuring some of the most famous

wood and steel roller coasters in the

United States. We located virtual

museum tours around the world where

viewers could “walk through” the

museum as if they were there themselves. We identified celestial events

taking place within the month and explained what they were and how to

see them. There are also several interesting things to see in Oklahoma; the

team wrote about them and their locations in one memorable publication.

Children staying home from school, with parents thrust into the role of parttime

educators while trying to keep up with

“Thanks so much. The tips

full-time work, was stressful. The

seem like common sense

Teleworking Tips team wrote articles on

until I sit down and just get

how to keep children entertained and busy,

absorbed by my laptop.

featuring activities that took little effort to

The "do more than just get

create and needed little supervision. The

a cup of coffee" one hits

team produced suggestions on


office/workspace arrangements, including

signs and signals parents could use to let

children know when not to interrupt. The team also supported parents in

their role as substitute educators by writing articles that included

suggestions for coping and reminding them that they did not have

education degrees, no one expected them to replace their children’s

teachers, and they were doing the best they could.

The team also considered other stressors, such as dealing with unfamiliar

technologies, separation from co-workers, and concerns about staying

healthy. The Teleworking Tips included articles on mental health, stress

reduction, short exercise breaks, physical activity, and self-care. Articles on

breathing, meditation, and taking 5-minute body scan breaks to relieve

tension were also part of the effort to help with stress management.

Understanding the value of laughter in helping our immune system and

improving mood, the Teleworking Tips team also wrote articles featuring

jokes to give readers a chuckle. The jokes were mainly “dad jokes” and

family-friendly, amusing puns.

Many folks fondly remember making bread and experimenting with cooking

during the pandemic. The team wrote articles on snacks, easy to prepare

main dishes, “tour of the world of food” recipes, and lots of comfort food

recipes. As holidays approached, the

team included holiday craft ideas,

recipes, and tips on how to have virtual

family parties when it wasn’t safe to get

together. These tips included ideas for

decorating, “eating together,” and family

game nights.

As the pandemic wore on and the

promise of a vaccine was on the horizon, the Teleworking Tips focus

shifted somewhat to include more health and resilience articles. The team

also presented an entire series on all the Microsoft Office 365 apps, not

only via email but also through presentations on MS Teams to answer

questions and demonstrate how to access, set up, and use the apps in the

world of child support.

In addition, to help separated co-workers retain a sense of community,

readers were asked to send pictures of their

“I love this article! It’s so on

pets to feature these “co-workers” in an

point with the Science of

article. There were so many responses to

Hope, positive psychology,

this request that this article was written as a

and changing your mindset

series featuring unusual pets, cats, and

to a Growth Mindset! This

large and small dogs. The series featured

is wonderful!”

pets’ human companions as well, along with

their comments about their pets’ cuteness

or quirkiness.

As we slowly began to emerge from the months-long isolation of

quarantine, some of us were not sure how to re-engage. The team wrote

articles on how to create your own Pandemic Pod (e.g. safe social group)

and what to keep in mind when getting together with others indoors. Other

articles focused on suggestions for how to stay safe while flying or using

other forms of travel.

During the pandemic, many people from all walks of life lost their jobs or

were suffering financially. The Teleworking Tips team wrote articles

addressing this source of stress, as well as articles offering suggestions

and support during the difficulties.

After more than a year of daily Teleworking Tips, we reduced articles to five

to six times a month with an emphasis on applying Microsoft 365

technology to child support processes and procedures, along with

occasional articles to provide entertainment or tips on wellness and

technology. From the middle of March 2020, the team wrote approximately

240 articles in the first year and over 100 articles in the second year and

continues to produce informational and helpful articles.

You may access some of the Tips here.

Other states also sent encouraging emails to their staff throughout the

pandemic to help them carry forward throughout the stress of the

quarantine. These encouraging emails gave us all hope for a better day.

Hope is one of the strongest predictors of well-being, and an emerging,

robust body of evidence is demonstrating that hope is also an important

component of organizational well-being. Based on this research and on the

experiences many CSS workers have on a daily basis with our customers,

it has become apparent that hope benefits

everyone in the child support system, from

caseworkers to customers. The

Teleworking Tips team’s goal was to

provide hope, information, and a sense of

community to the many CSS workers who

diligently continued to serve our customers

during a difficult and unprecedented time.


Laurel Eaton retired in 2016 as the Programs Manager for the Office of Planning,

Evaluation, and Learning-Child Support Services after 46 years with the Oklahoma

Department of Human Services—38 of those years with or related to CSS. She is now a

Project Coordinator with the University of Oklahoma, Center for Public Management,

contracted to Child Support Services. Ms. Eaton is an individual member of NCSEA.

Rachel Karch has a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership and Academic

Curriculum, specializing in classroom gamification, from the University of Oklahoma.

She has taught in Lexington and Norman Public Schools as an AP World History

teacher and an art teacher, during which time she received several awards and grants

for her work in education. In 2019, she began working for OUCPM as a curriculum

developer, became an instructional designer for the same team, and now is the OSIS

Policy Contract Manager.

Dr. Nancy Sonleitner has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oklahoma and

has taught in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, the University of Tennessee (Martin),

and online at Bowling Green State University and local community colleges. Currently,

Dr. Sonleitner is assisting Oklahoma Child Support Services create training materials for

the Child Support workforce, and assisting with course development for asynchronous

and face-to-face workforce training.


OU-CPM - https://outreach.ou.edu/community-services/health-human-services/center-publicmanagement/services/

OU-CPM is the administrator of the Child Support Specialist Certification

Program, the CSS Employer Services Center, and a host of other services for OKDHS.


OKDHS (Oklahoma Department of Human Services) is the umbrella agency for Child Support


NCSEA 2023 Policy Forum Preview

by Margot Bean and Connie Chesnik

Co-chairs, NCSEA 2023 Policy Forum

Early in February 2023, Child Support and Human Services professionals

from across the country will come together again in Washington, D.C. for

the annual NCSEA Policy Forum. This year’s theme, “Engagement –

Delivering Quality Services with a Passion for Helping Families,”

focuses on what we in the child support program do well with passion while

being mindful of the impact and ramifications of our decision-making. Over

the Forum’s three days, sessions will explore the important balance of

keeping a focus on child support’s strong historical foundation, while

embracing innovations and program evolution.

As we set out planning this year's agenda, we remained committed to our

effort to build on NCSEA’s collaborative inclusion of various perspectives

and priorities that clearly support our collective vision. The perspectives of

our tribal members, the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

efforts, and the importance of engaging external partners were vital to the

conversations. The Policy Forum Planning Committee has developed 10

plenary sessions that offer attendees a variety of perspectives on trending

topics in the entire child support community. We continue our practice from

last year’s Policy Forum of presenting–in some of the sessions–a short

video from a variety of think tanks performing research and advocacy that

showcases their insights into child support engagement and quality


Thursday’s Opening Plenary will begin with NCSEA President Jim Fleming

sharing his vision for the Policy Forum, followed by welcoming remarks

from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS),

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Assistant Secretary,

January Contreras. ACF Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)

Commissioner, Tanguler Gray, will deliver a keynote reflecting on the past

year’s accomplishments and the future focus of her Office.

Thursday’s second plenary will present an ambitious proposal from

NCSEA’s Policy and Government Relations (PGR) Committee that resulted

from a massive effort to develop a comprehensive child support legislative

proposal not seen since PWRORA was passed in 1998. PGR’s work has

identified improvements and solutions in different areas of the program that

will enhance performance and quality service delivery to families, including

reforms and changes to TANF recovery, performance measures,

intergovernmental, program funding, and enforcement. In addition,

congressional staff will share their views on a variety of potential child

support legislative proposals.

Thursday afternoon will commence with a focus on modern child support

enforcement tools. This includes using enforcement as a stepping-stone to

building family capacity, engaging effectively through electronic hearings,

requiring the reporting of independent contractors, and improving the

insurance match process. The afternoon finishes with a comprehensive

review of the 20-plus years’ history of federally funded Section 1115 grants,

Special Improvement Project (SIP) grants, and Section 1115 waiver

demonstration projects that have aided the seismic shift from a focus solely

on enforcement to comprehensive engagement. The session will highlight

the most recent demonstration grants, including employment services and

support for non-custodial parents, behavioral interventions, procedural

justice, and communication and outreach in a digital world.

In the last two-plus years, much has been shared and debated on how we

go about implementing DEI. Friday’s plenaries will open with expanding the

DEI conversation by hearing from those who have succeeded in

implementing DEI-related change and are continuing to build on their

initiatives. They will share the challenges and tools they used to help us

form action plans to benefit the child support community across the

country. This plenary is followed by a discussion of the recent joint ACF

OCSE/Children’s Bureau guidance on case referrals from IV-E to IV-D.

From a panel of states that have changed their processes, the audience

will learn more about the guidance and the supporting research,

implementation considerations, strategies, and challenges, and how these

changes can strengthen collaboration between child support and child


Friday’s program continues with a session that builds off the work of an

existing partnership among the American Public Human Services

Association (APHSA), the National Conference of Child Support Directors

(NCCSD), and NCSEA to create strategies to align child support with

parallel programs and services. The panel will include child support

directors and economic support administrators who will discuss advancing

economic mobility and improving collections through promoting supportive

services, access to assistance, and enhanced employment and training

opportunities for all parents and caregivers. The panel will also discuss

successfully aligning services with families at the center with perspectives

from tribal human services. This session will also incorporate custodial and

noncustodial parents with lived experience, who will share their

perspectives on how thoughtful, trauma-informed services and connections

to support lead to better outcomes for all parents and their children. The

day’s final plenary will feature a brief research presentation about the most

recent data on the prevalence of incarceration in the U.S. and, specifically,

arrests/convictions/periods of incarceration among noncustodial parents

that leads to difficulty meeting their obligations and engaging with child

support agencies. Author Sharmain Harris will share his lived experience

as a justice-involved father and take us on an inspirational ride through his

personal stories and work over the past six years to increase awareness of

father involvement and to implement strategies to be more engaging.

Policy Forum attendees will not want to miss the final Saturday morning

program. The day opens with a highly interactive plenary that explores

various state child support debt compromise policies. By diving into the

actual processes behind those programs—and their data—participants in

this plenary will gain a heightened appreciation for the burden of running

such programs, versus the amount of child support debt reduced.

The national child support program caseload dropped almost 1½ million

over the past five years. Despite this reduction, it still serves nearly 16

million children or about one in five children nationwide, and performance

on the federal performance measures continues to improve for those

children. The 2023 NCSEA Policy Forum will conclude with another not-tobe-missed

plenary where speakers discuss why caseloads are decreasing

and, more importantly, what can be done to turn this trend around so that

our services reach customers who need it the most.

We look forward to connecting with you in Washington, D.C., February 2-4,

2023, to continue the conversations from last year’s Policy Forum and to

start new ones!

Margot Bean is a Managing Director in Deloitte Consulting’s Human Services

Transformation Practice, focusing on helping child support programs improve their

outcomes by providing effective and efficient data driven customer-focused services.

She helps child support programs develop human centered case management systems

that streamline business processes, effectively analyze their caseloads, and allow case

managers to execute case strategies based on customer needs. Margot’s wide variety

of government experience prior to joining Deloitte provides her with deep understanding

and insight: Commissioner of the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, IV-D

Director of the New York State Child Support program, IV-D Director of the Guam Child

Support Program, and child support attorney. She is a current member of the NCSEA

Board of Directors

Connie M. Chesnik received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the

University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an attorney for the Wisconsin Department of

Workforce Development, Connie advised the child support program for many years and

has spoken frequently on Wisconsin’s child support guidelines and Wisconsin’s tribal IV-

D program. She is currently the Administrator of the Division of Family and Economic

Security in the Department of Children and Families where she oversees Wisconsin’s

child support, refugee and employment programs. Connie is a member of the State Bar

of Wisconsin, and the State and National Child Support Enforcement Associations. She

currently serves on the NCSEA Board of Directors.

Is NCSEA U For You?

NCSEA U was chartered in 2013 and currently has

more than 135 alumni. NCSEA U provides a unique

premier educational and professional development

opportunity. It is structured for learning leaders in the

child support community and it complements NCSEA’s

other educational initiatives and strategies. The

program is taught by nationally recognized child

support leaders, offering a variety of informative and

strategic topics. Classes are structured with an

emphasis on group discussions that include work/life balance and best practice initiatives

with real time work environment scenarios. And starting in February, 2023, NCSEA U @

Policy Forum offers participants training in policy, advocacy and outreach.

Whether for yourself or your staff, NCSEA U offers a transformative learning experience

and is a catalyst for networking opportunities. NCSEA U alumni would love for you to

become a part of this unique group. Because we are proud of NCSEA U, we will be

featuring Alumni in upcoming CSQ articles. Their stories will highlight why NCSEA U is for


Meet Our NCSEA U Alumni

Liz Schriber, Class of 2022

Georgia Division of Child Support Services

Strategic Performance Planning Manager

What would you like others to know about NCSEA U? NCSEA U is an amazing opportunity to

learn from top-notch leaders and network with other child support professionals. It was very clear

that there is a lot of thought and preparation that goes into the materials for the sessions. NCSEA

U provides a unique experience for participants to share their experiences and perspectives on

program improvement.

NCSEA U @ Leadership Symposium focuses on the emerging and learning leader. How do

you define leadership? I define leadership as the ability to bring people together and

empowering the team to achieve a common goal.

Why would you recommend NCSEA U to others? NCSEA U provides an opportunity for you to

meet other child support professionals that share a passion for program improvement and

enhancing their leadership skills. It allows you to learn from other program perspectives and

expand your network of child support friends and community.

Emily Gregg, Class of 2022

Tennessee Child Support

Policy and Case Resolution Director

What is the most valuable aspect of the NCSEA U experience? Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!

Connections, connections, connections!

What would you like others to know about NCSEA U? NCSEA U is a wonderful experience.

The leaders provided great insight into their trials and errors throughout their child support journey.

The NCSEA U leaders (Erin, Wally, and Lisa) helped each one of us take an idea and form the

idea into an actual plan of action. Hearing from other states who have tried various initiatives also

assists with planning your own priorities and initiatives within your state, tribe, or county.

What is a key leadership attribute that you appreciate in others? I appreciate someone who

values others' input and who can lead by example. Someone who is not afraid to admit they may

not know the answer but is willing to do the digging to find out. Someone who is not afraid to jump

in and help out.

Van Nguyen, Class of 2022

Washington State Division of Child Support

Child Support Program Manager

What would you like others to know about NCSEA U? NCSEAU is educational, inspirational,

and is a supportive network.

Since attending NCSEA U, what opportunities (personal and professional) have you

experienced? Working with the Research, Data and Analysis Division on creating a survey for my


What is a key leadership attribute that you appreciate in others? Some key attributes that I

appreciate in others include: honesty, integrity, excellence, accountability, emotional intelligence,

and respect. I believe a leader who embodies these values is able to gain/earn trust from the people

that they lead and nothing is impossible to achieve when you have people's trust.

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