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2023 Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference

Staff from ASERT attended the 2023 Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference in Savannah, GA from May 22-25, 2023. ERICSA was established in 1963 to provide high-quality training to child support professionals east of the Mississippi River, however, the reach has now extended beyond those initial boundaries to all states and tribal nations.

After receiving positive feedback for a similar presentation at the Statewide Domestic Relations Association of PA (DRAP) Conference last August, the panelists consisting of Kate Hooven, Justice Project Coordinator for ASERT, Eastern Region, James P Gallagher, Jr, Philadelphia County Domestic Relations Director, Melissa Hayes, Schuylkill County Domestic Relations Director, Kelly Carothers, Adams County Domestic Relations Assistant Director and Charles Carothers, Cumberland County Domestic Relations Director were asked to present a similar workshop at the ERICSA National Conference.

The workshop presented at ERICSA was entitled, “Different, Not Less-Supporting Child Support Customers and Employers with Neurodiversity”. The session explained the characteristics and traits often seen in the autism population that can be misunderstood, especially in a working environment, as well as reasons for the high unemployment rate for autistic individuals which may impact a parent’s ability to fulfill a child support order. The session included tools and strategies for attendees to better serve potential autistic employees as well as autistic customers of the child support program.

All members of the panel are parents of autistic children or adults and have a passion for educating and raising awareness both in their respective workplaces and their communities at large. The workshop was very well received with inquiries for similar trainings in other states.