Today’s technology results in the fast, accurate processing of the vast majority of child support payments with very little need for manual intervention. Millions of dollars of much-needed child support funds move across states or across the country in the blink of an eye. But things weren’t always that way, and as Conduent celebrates our 30th year in child support, I’ve been thinking about how far the industry has come in those three decades.
Thirty years ago, Conduent’s predecessor company Lockheed Martin IMS embarked on our first partnerships with child support agencies, a business that has grown from a handful of contracts and clients to one of the nation’s premier provider of child support services and systems, processing $150 billion in child support in just the past 10 years.
My personal milestone in child support is almost as far in the past as Conduent’s. As of this month, I’ve been working in the child support field for 29 years. My daughter was born in that same year, 1992—and she’s now married, a nurse and expecting her second child. Where did the time go?
In 1992, I started working on the Los Angeles County Court Trustee contract, one of Conduent’s (Lockheed Martin IMS at the time) first child support payment processing contracts. Nearly 100% of the payments were checks and we opened all that mail with hand letter openers. We also kept a good supply of Band-Aids for all the paper cuts. Once opened, employees keyed payments directly into legacy green screen systems and created manual adding machine batches and tape copies to ensure everything was balanced. It was labor intensive and a bit clunky, but every day, we worked hard to improve the process and add technology. And we never lost sight of what we were working hard for: to get funds to the children and families who needed them.
The author with his daughter in the early 1990s, when he first began his child support career.
Fast forward three decades to today, when the vast majority of payments are received electronically with new innovations coming at lightning speed. Though the solutions look very different than they once did, Conduent is still working side-by-side with child support agencies to serve children and families. We’re always working to incorporate the latest technology to improve speed and accuracy, with exciting digital solutions rolling out in the very near future. It’s a very exciting time.
Many of my fellow Conduent colleagues have been working in this field for a similarly long time, with extensive, distinguished careers working for counties, states and private sector providers. There’s no substitute for the hands-on, year-in and year-out level of child support experience our Conduent team offers. The understanding and perspective that comes with experience informs everything we do and has been invaluable to our continued innovation.
Throughout 2021 so far, we’ve been celebrating 30 years of making a difference in child support. Stay tuned for news, announcements, and thought leadership, like our recent white paper on Child Support During the Pandemic and Beyond. We’re also once again an NCSEA Platinum Corporate Partner, proud to support that organization in bringing together the child support community. The 2021 NCSEA Leadership Symposium in Austin this August will be here before we know it – one more thing to celebrate in 2021.