President’s Message: October 2015

Happy Fall 2015…

As I write this, I am aware of the fact that we are beginning a new season…and for those of us in child support, we are also about to begin a new federal fiscal year.  The older I get, the more respectful I become of the changing seasons and cycles in our lives.  Life does go on – and every day we have incredible opportunities to do great things.  Just think of those thousands and thousands of children and families who count on us for help!  It’s a bit humbling, to say the least.

I want to share a personal story with you. It’s relevant to the work we do, and the services we provide. I grew up in New Jersey (no – Alisha Griffin and I did not know each other back then). My father left us when I was 14; it was 1966. I have three younger sisters and at the time they were 10, 3, and 1. My mother was a secretary in an insurance office. We never thought we were poor, just that others had more than we did. There was always an abundance of love in our home – and always food on the table and clothes for school and church. We never knew – until we were all adults – that mom had to apply for food stamps and AFDC in order to make ends meet. Our father moved to North Carolina and we never received any child support from him.

Mom said that when she went to apply for welfare, the case workers made her feel “like dirt.” She said they basically inferred that it was her fault that he had left. She was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell even her own children that we were “on welfare” – and she was working full time. When we finally learned this, it had a profound impact on me – and on my ultimate career path.

I tell everyone I work with that they should treat everyone they come in contact with as if they were their own mother. How would they want her to be treated? We pride ourselves in Los Angeles County Child Support for providing routinely exceptional customer service. I like to think that my story helps.

I am so proud and humbled to be the NCSEA President for this coming year. It’s a huge responsibility – but one I am ready for – with your help. Let me know if you’d like to serve on one of our committees – raise your hand – volunteer – this is a great program and a great organization to be involved with.

We will shortly be announcing registration for the Policy Forum – to be held in Washington DC this coming February 11-13, 2016 at the Capital Hilton. I hope to see you there.

Steven

by Steven Golightly, PhD, President, NCSEA

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