Congratulations to our 2014 Excellence Award Winners
NCSEA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Excellence Awards. These awards are presented over the course of the Annual Conference and recognize at a national level programs and individuals that have demonstrated exceptional services or merit in the child support community.
Outstanding Program Award: Texas Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division
Texas ranks first in the country in a number of areas including amount of child support collected,($3.671 billion) collections per fulltime employee,($1.35 million FTE) and cost effectiveness ($11.61 for every $1 spent). In addition Texas continually seeks new and innovative ways to serve customers and increase effectiveness. For example the recent conversion from paper to electronic records (April 2013) provides field offices with immediate access to more than 1.4 million records. This improves customer service and efficiency, as well as freeing up over 65,000 feet of file space across the state. Cost savings of this conversion allowed Texas Child Support Division to open storefront service centers based on where customers live to assist with cases. By 2020 the state will have 30 service centers. The state has also implemented a myriad of other innovative programs and partnerships to improve service to customers, increased support for children and increased engagement on the part of non custodial parents in their children’s’ lives.
Program Awareness Award: Outreach Photo Scavenger Hunt, Oklahoma Child Support Services
The intent of The Outreach Photo Scavenger Hunt is to increase the outreach of the OK child support offices, particularly during Child Support Awareness Month (August 2013). Every office, no matter its location, was encouraged to participate; however, no office was required to participate. Participation was completely optional. Offices were allowed to have as many teams as they wanted, but each team had to have two or three members. The Outreach Photo Scavenger Hunt single-handedly produced more outreach activities than any other event throughout 2013. This event generated an additional 212 acts of community outreach during Child Support Awareness Month, making 2013 Oklahoma’s biggest awareness month ever. Twenty-five teams, comprised of 66 CSS staff members, representing 13 different offices, participated in the Outreach Photo Scavenger Hunt. Fifteen teams successfully completed the challenge and were entered in the winning prize drawing for more than $300 in school supplies.
Outstanding Manager of the Year: Paul Bennett, Manager, Philadelphia Family Court
Paul was recruited from the private sector and appointed by the Philadelphia Family Court during October 1997 to create a domestic relations jobs program to resolve the aforesaid defendant unemployment problem and thereby, improve Philadelphia’s federal performance measures. He successfully created the Networking for Jobs and Ex-offender Reentry Program to promote responsible parenthood and improve work opportunities for unemployed defendants who are required to pay child support. The Networking for Jobs and Ex-offender Reentry Program helps unemployed defendants find and keep full time employment by connecting them with provider agencies. The provider agencies assistance includes career counseling, job readiness classes, peer support, job placement, and on-going contact with career counselor, and additional training.
Outstanding Individual of the Year: Richard Rylander, Security Officer, Oregon Dept. of Justice
Richard became a Department Security Officer in May of 2006 at which time his responsibilities broadened to include the wide variety of system security requirements that swirl around the operation of the Child Support Program in Oregon. He keeps himself educated and up to date on all child support system related security protocols, requirements, regulations, and standards. He is able to keep the child support administration aware of what lies ahead by making intelligent connections in the industry. He uses this knowledge to make sound recommendations to the Department and to the Child Support Program that aligns the program well for the future and safeguards it in the present. He has learned and mastered the regulations for that of an Automated Clearinghouse, for the IRS Publication 1075 regulations, the NIST, and the latest requirements from the OCSE on child support data in general (FPLS).
NCSEA is also pleased to announce the winners of our annual President’s Scholarship and Judge David Ross Memorial Scholarship
President’s Scholarship: Nancy Lund, Child Support Officer, Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit
Nancy’s application for the scholarship included the following: Communicating with the families I serve is a critical part of my ability to do my job well. I want my obligor clients to understand that my job is to work with them to help them meet their obligations to their children. I strive to let my obligee clients know that I understand just how important it is that they receive the child support due their family. I see the NCSEA Conference as a chance to learn new ways to find the common ground that makes all communication easier and more effective. Although I wouldn’t be able to bring everyone at Iowa CSRU with me, I relish the chance to share all I learn in Portland with them once I’m back home. Being a resource for other field workers is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. As much as receiving the scholarship would mean to me personally, the impact it would have on the families in my caseload would be immeasurable. The more I grow professionally, the better able I am to carry out the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit’s mission: “Iowa’s Children. Love Them. Support Them.”
Judge David Ross Memorial Scholarship: Lani Flak, Child Support Case Manager, Oregon Department of Justice, Division of Child Support
Some of Lani’s essay on why she wanted to attend the conference include: I am interested in attending the NCSEA Annual Conference and Exposition because I have passion and enthusiasm for the work being done by Oregon’s Child Support Program. I would like to further develop my professional skills and enhance my understanding of other child support agencies to better serve our customers. I currently work as a Case Manager for the Portland Division of Child Support and have become very interested in the functionality of our agency as a whole and how Case Managers work independently to provide services to families. I am interested in learning how to better help support my peers by discovering new techniques for case management and how to work more efficiently to meet our performance measures. Oregon’s Child Support Program will be implementing a new system for working our cases (within the next five years) that should provide case managers with the tools needed to effectively reach the families we serve. If I am able to attend this conference, I will have a more comprehensive understanding of what our agency could aspire to become with the modernized system. I believe the understanding of how other child support agencies operate is a key component to developing the best possible program for the future.