Child Support Awareness Month
Reflections from Courtland Consultants on Child Support Awareness Month
In 1990 Courtland began providing consulting services to the Michigan Child Support Project – MiCSES. Since then, we have spent 30 years contributing to child support projects across the country. We were integral part of the federal certification of the automated child support systems in Michigan, New Jersey, Delaware and South Carolina.
It is our mission to align our company and it’s values around this important work. The strengthening of families and communities is our fundamental goal and business objective. It is great to be able to work alongside so many amazing child support professionals from around the country and helping to make contributions to their communities. In honor of Child Support Awareness Month our child support consultants share their thoughts on what working in child support has meant to them.
Sharon Pizzuti – Courtland Executive Director, NCSEA Board Member
It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve children and families for the past 30 years that I’ve worked in the child support community. I’ve seen this program grow to become more responsive, inclusive and supportive of both parents continued emotional and financial involvement with their child(ren). I’m especially proud of how the child support community has embraced innovative technology to improve service delivery, access and fairness to the families that depend on these critical government programs.
The key to serving others is placing their needs above your own. By forming partnerships with like-minded public servants, the child support community will continue to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families in the future. I remain committed to doing whatever I can to make it successful!
Dana Jacob – Project Manager, NVKIDS Child Support System Upgrade Project
I have worked on and off in child support since the late 1990’s. I am also a divorcee that raised two children alone, and received child support from the program. When my kids were very little, this support sometimes put food on our table and sometimes helped me with the rent needed to keep a roof over our heads. While the program has changed significantly over the years, my passion for working in it has remained the same.
Simply put, the program is designed to protect children from the economic impact of divorce or separation. We are helping bring money to families to help maintain a child’s living standard. This, in turn, helps to ensure all of their basic needs are covered. These needs include shelter, transportation, food, clothing, school activities, and private lessons. For 30 years, Courtland staff has had a hand in directly supporting many areas of this program, including and not limited to state child support systems replacement or upgrades projects, child support conferences such as ERICSA, WICSEC, and NCSEA, work with NTCSA (the National Tribal Child Support Association), fatherhood initiatives, and others. The work we do as Child Support Enforcement Project (CSEP) Consultants is critical in supporting children and families and the courts that serve them.
I am very proud to be a part of Courtland and the project teams that are making a difference for children and families across the United States.
Antoinette Martinez – Training Team Senior Consultant, NVKIDS Child Support System Upgrade Project
I have worked in the Child Support world for 25+ years. I have been lucky to work in various areas of the child support program. Because of the Child Support programs throughout the country, there are many children who benefit both financially through monthly payments and medical support. Just as important is the emotional support the program provides. It helps to ensure that children maintain a healthy emotional relationship with both parents. Child Support is way beyond a monthly payment!
Coretta Y. Smith – Implementation Specialist, SC CFS Project
What I love about working in child support is carrying out the needs for every man, woman, and child. I strive to show understanding, patience, and empathy while lending a helping hand.
Dianne Morris – Deployment Specialist, SC PACSS System
I started my career in family law in 1986, fresh out of college. I received my degree in accounting, but I enjoyed working in the court system and continued my career in it. In 1989, I accepted a position with the Child Support Services. This position was very challenging.
The average number of cases within an individual county ranged from 1,000 to 10,000. There was no automated system in South Carolina. Everything had to be reviewed and worked manually. It was impossible for a worker to touch every case in their caseload. We often found that the squeaky wheel got the oil. The job was very demanding with endless requirements. During my career, I was fortunate enough to work with dedicated employees whose focus was to complete work assignments to benefit the support of minor children. The positions were not high paying positions but these employees continued to focus on the goal of the agency and often stayed until retirement. I found that each state had these type workers. I continued to work with the agency and retired after 28 years.
After retirement, I was fortunate enough to obtain a position with Courtland in implementing South Carolina’s automated system. I have thoroughly enjoyed this job. It gave me an opportunity to work with the PACSS system and see its successful implementation. The automation that PACSS provided to a child support or family court worker was amazing. It reduced the amount of manual work that was previously required. The system’s automation allows for review of cases that workers never had an opportunity to review. I see custodial parents receiving support for the first time, which is very rewarding. I hope to continue being involved in the progress of the establishment and enforcement of child support to assist parents and children.
Karen Brown – Deployment Specialist, SC PACSS System
I have always had a deep passion for helping people, especially children. As a former Child Support Specialist w/SCDSS Child Support Services Division, I strived to do my job diligently. I exhausted all efforts in locating absent parents, working with other states and with the county family courts in S.C., to make sure absent parents were providing the monetary support for their children’s needs. Courtland Consulting gave me the opportunity to be a part of a milestone in child support in the State of South Carolina. The federally mandated child support system, PACSS, was implemented throughout the state of South Carolina, the project was completed in 2019. I was actually on site, in Abbeville County, when the federal agents visited. They observed the Palmetto Automated Child Support System (PACSS), to confirm that the requirements and expectations were met. Their visit resulted in the certifcation of the system with the Federal Child Support Office. PACSS has enhanced the collection of child support by providing more payment options and enhanced customer service. This has in turn resulted in improved outcomes for families. Courtland Consulting has achieved project expectations, here in S.C., by implementing two applications, which are PACSS and the Family Court Case Management System (FCCMS).
Want to learn more about what Courtland Consulting does for the child support community? Check out our Child Support page.