Inside this Issue
Changing of the Guard: Meet Rhode Island’s New IV-D Director │ CSLN Sees Growth with Lump Sum Payment Module (LSPM) │ Helping State Child Support Agencies Ring in the New Year with Collections │ States Tap CSLN as Resource to Assist with Legislative Compliance │ Profiles: Introducing the New Faces of CSLN
Changing of the Guard:
Meet Rhode Island’s New IV-D Director 
In our last issue we featured former IV-D Director of Rhode Island’s Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) and forever Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) advocate and champion, Sharon A. Santilli, Esquire. We profiled her career and accomplishments while at OCSS and announced her successor in this role, another key, long-time supporter of CSLN and staunch child support ally, Frank J. DiBiase, Esquire. We recently sat down with Frank to find out more about his new designation and what the future holds for Rhode Island.
Above: Frank J. Dibiase, Esq., Associate Director, Rhode Island Office of Child Support Services
CSLN: What does the future of Child Support look like to you?

FD: Having been involved in the Child Support program for more than thirty (30) years, I have had a front-row seat in witnessing how child support has evolved over the years. When I started as a line attorney for the Rhode Island agency, the thrust of the program was to get the highest amount of child support from any obligor, no matter the circumstances.

In fact, back when I started my child support journey, obligors were often portrayed as the “villain” in any child support episode - no matter the circumstances. That mindset has changed over the years and the program has dramatically improved as a result.

Instead of simply approaching each case with a preconceived bias, the program now compels the agency and legal system to be more discerning in identifying obligors who are truly recalcitrant parents who desire to avoid their proper responsibilities, versus those who are simply unable to pay support despite their best intentions.

I would identify two (2) more recent developments in this program. The first is a movement for the child support program to become more invested in finding ways to foster parental involvement in the lives of the children we serve. Although I have some concern regarding mission creep surrounding the child support program, I do agree that a correlation seems to exist between an obligor parent’s involvement in a child’s life, and that parent’s compliance with financially supporting that child. This goal seems to be a greater priority today than even just ten (10) years ago, not to mention when I first started working in the program.

A second development - one that I think dates back even further than the movement to get obligors involved in a child’s life - is the child support program’s evolution from a governmental cost-recovery program to a cost-avoidance program. When I first started in child support back in 1990, our State’s caseload involving children on cash assistance was in excess of 80%. Today that percentage more accurately reflects our non-welfare caseload.

I believe the program will continue to press for policies that put funds in the hands of families more often than in government coffers. Where we have come in this respect is a remarkable achievement. I hope to be a part of this continuing evolution as we move forward in the program.

CSLN: Tell me about someone who has influenced your Child Support philosophy?

FD: For me, this question is quite easy. When it comes to my views surrounding child support policy, nobody has influenced me as much as Rhode Island’s former Child Support Director, Sharon Santilli. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked under Sharon when she was the Agency’s Chief Legal Counsel, and then alongside her for some seventeen (17) years when I was the Agency’s Chief Legal Counsel and Sharon was Director.

To be sure, I do not suggest that we never disagreed about any matters (although most of the time - overwhelmingly so - we did agree). But Sharon, more than any other person I have worked with in the past thirty (30) years at the Agency, would almost always possess just the right balance of our obligation to enforce support obligations - but not in a manner that adversely affects any positive family dynamics.

When I started as a line attorney for this Agency, my mind was almost laser focused on enforcement efforts. Indeed, I volunteered to oversee the Lien Unit of the Agency because of my comfort with the enforcement efforts the OCSS possessed. Sharon, in due time, was able to teach me a different angle to these cases. She recognized that if the only tool you possessed was a hammer - every issue would appear as a nail – when, in fact, some do not.
Above: Frank J. Dibiase, Esq. and Sharon A. Santilli, Esq., delivering a January 2018 seminar on Rhode Island’s revised child support guidelines.
Because of Sharon’s dedication and wider view surrounding the child support mission, today, I have developed a more discerning view surrounding each case. One concrete example of this change occurred early in my career, when Sharon convinced me that it is a much better policy to push for “right-sized orders” that correspond to an obligor’s real ability to pay and not necessarily an artificially high order. Sharon explained that a more right-sized order amount would make it less likely that the obligor would run away from their responsibilities to support the child. It also would assist the child in actually receiving support since the obligor would be more likely to pay it. In addition, it would relieve an agency from having to expend even greater resources to enforce the obligation.

CSLN: If you could change one thing about Child Support (state and/or federal), what would it be?

FD: There are three (3) things that immediately come to mind when I am asked about what changes I would make (if I could) regarding the child support program. Two (2) of them relate to federal provisions, and one is more of a state matter - with some potential for federal participation. I will briefly explain them here, although it is possible to discuss all three (3) at some length perhaps in the future.

First, I would change the accounting surrounding obligors who are unable to pay child support because of incarceration on a criminal matter. State performance regarding collecting child support includes cases of obligors who might be incarcerated and do not possess any assets or income and cannot afford then to pay support.

When a child support order exists in such a case and it can continue to accrue, it makes it look like the child support enforcement program is ineffective as arrears grow. This phenomenon, I think, was the major background reason that caused the federal government to adopt a regulation that largely requires (or tries to require) that states not allow child support orders to run while an obligor is incarcerated without the ability to pay child support.

I think it would have been better to require states to create a change to their accounting system, in which arrears that accrue while an obligor is incarcerated not be included as outstanding arrears for federal performance measures. This would allow incarcerated obligors to potentially accrue arrears while incarcerated without necessarily adversely reflecting upon that state’s performance in collecting arrears. Instead, I think this has driven a policy to stop child support obligations when a person is incarcerated, while less compelling debts (e.g., mortgages; visa bills, etc.) continue to accrue. This strikes me as misguided policy. 

Secondly, there exists a federal performance measure that counts cases in which an arrears payment is made in a calendar year. I have always believed that the way this is calculated is faulty. (Indeed, I would even say nonsensical.)

How this measure works is by counting a case as a case in which an arrears payment was received by looking at each month throughout the year. If an obligor in any given month had paid all the current arrears due that month and then paid as little as one additional dollar that month - even if that obligor did not pay another cent in any of the other eleven (11) months - that case would count as a case that an arrears payment was made. 

Compare that case to one in which the obligor pays his current child support obligation each week for the entirety of the year but never pays anything toward his arrears. The first case will count as a positive case experience, when, in fact, at the end of the year that obligor’s principal arrears would have increased. In contrast, although the second payor did not make an arrears payment in that year, in his/her case the principal arrears would have simply remained the same.

This makes little sense to me. The case that ends the year in a better financial position counts against the performance measure? This performance measure would make more sense if it asked whether a case’s total principal arrears is lower than the previous year’s principal arrears total. The focus should be on the end of the year, not month-to-month.

Third, from my years of experience, one of the most vexing case problems that is confronted is when an obligor appears before the court with medical documentation stating he/she is unable to work due to a purported medical condition. Of course, without any contradictory medical documentation, it is nearly impossible for a child support agency to challenge any such documentation at a hearing before the court.

I would establish a doctor (or doctors) contracted with the State, to engage in an examination of the obligor and file an additional medical report either confirming the medical condition purportedly provided for in the obligor’s medical report, or, otherwise, to contradict the report. This would allow the court to make its own assessment regarding the obligor’s medical evidence.

CSLN: Is there anything else you would like to add?

FD: Before I close my commentary, I would be greatly remiss if I did not make a few observations about Rhode Island’s Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) and the vendor, Stellarware, who is contracted with the State to administer its day-to-day operations. I do not think there has been a greater conceptual enforcement tool developed than the interface system administered by CSLN.

The late Rhode Island Child Support Director, Jack Murphy, deserves much credit for conceiving of such a successful enforcement effort to collect money for the benefit of children. And my immediate predecessor, Sharon Santilli, deserves much credit for continuing to grow this network to such a successful effort.

Finally, Stellarware Corporation, the operational arm of CSLN, has provided the State with such a dedicated and competent team of individuals that it is virtually impossible for this effort not to be a great success. So many in the community, including me, will remain forever grateful to all that have brought about this cutting-edge and technological effort which has contributed to the success of the child support enforcement efforts on behalf of all member states. This includes the insurance industry, whose support and cooperation over the years is very much recognized and appreciated. The success of the CSLN program, a public & private partnership, represents what is possible when we all work together for the benefit of our nation’s children and families.

I pledge to continue to try to expand this tool to encompass more states, financial institutions, and insurance industry members, in hopes of increasing collections whenever reasonably possible for the benefit of children, custodial parents, and taxpayers. 

We look forward to a continued successful partnership with OCSS with Frank DiBiase at the helm.
CSLN Sees Growth with Lump Sum Payment Module (LSPM)
The Child Support Lien Network’s innovative new module, designed to streamline the interception of lump sum payments from income payers to employees on behalf of state agencies, has seen exceptional success following the initial announcement of its launch in 2020. Since October 2021 alone, the Lump Sum Payment Module (LSPM) has processed over 17,000 records across more than 1,500 participating employers, resulting in collections in excess of $252,000 across three states with more states in the pipeline. This includes substantial individual collections of over $8,000 in Rhode Island and $10,000 in Virginia. Click here for a visual overview of the Module’s performance since October.

Designed with both employers and state agencies in mind, this first-of-its-kind automated lump sum payment module was developed after extensive market research which identified a void in the employer community for an easy to use and timely electronic lump sum reporting service. CSLN and Stellarware also found that many state agencies were handling lump sum payments manually upon discovery, spurring a need for an automated solution to facilitate intercepting lump sum payments.

This advanced new feature arrived at a time when means of automated and secure electronic communication and the recovery of both past-due and current support could not be more crucial. Many family courts across the U.S. have been closed or limited to emergency proceedings during the coronavirus outbreak, while also experiencing an uncharacteristic rise in the number of obligors seeking relief from their various financial obligations, including those to their children or ex-spouses. Another situation that has inundated the courts recently involves parents who have suffered changes to their income or employment due to increased childcare obligations, as many children shifted to virtual or hybrid school models. Compounding the situation, many local child support agencies are themselves hindered by social isolation orders. In some areas, court systems are shut down or operating with limited scope. Many child support offices are also physically closed with staff working from home in jurisdictions with the capacity and technology to support remote work. The streamlined, automated solutions provided by the LSPM and CSLN’s other innovative tools have provided unique value in a time of unprecedented need.

CSLN, Stellarware’s flagship project, is an established consortium providing a vital child support collection resource through its fully integrated, customizable, web-based intercept program. CSLN matches millions of delinquent obligors each day to a national registry of pending personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. This, along with its unparalleled quality assurance (QA) processes that ensure the highest level of qualified claims, makes CSLN central to the design of the lump sum payment module solution. For CSLN members, this module can be selected as an optional service integrated with their existing system after a simple modification to their current interstate agreement. For those who are not already partnered with CSLN, this module can easily be leveraged as its own web-based service.

While employers are an integral part of the equation, state agencies stand to greatly benefit from this new avenue, as well. Immediate feedback from applicable employer data supported by system alerts, exemplary quality assurance on all matches reported, CSLN’s automatic generation and issuance of e-IWOs and liens on their behalf, and state-specific customizable reports, are just some of the ways this solution can cut agencies’ overhead while enhancing collections across the board.

CSLN looks forward to continuing to grow and aid employers with their child support reporting responsibilities and state agencies with maximizing their collections potential.
Helping State Child Support Agencies Ring in the New Year with Collections
Since its inception over two (2) decades ago, the Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) has and continues to serve as a highly effective collection resource, matching delinquent obligors from 30 child support agencies to insurance claims across 1,800+ insurance companies. With over 3.7 million non-custodial parents in the CSLN system, owing more than $85 billion in past-due child support, there is potential to collect, on average, an astounding $200 million in overdue child support each year. To date, an excess of $2 billion has been collected from CSLN matches!
Every CSLN collection varies in value from claim to claim - outlined below are just a few examples of child support intercepts from this past January, each resulting from a single insurance claim, and each helping respective state agency recipients ring in the new year with some new collections in the books!
CSLN continues to enhance and expand its platform which fosters the collaborative spirit between state child support agencies and the insurance industry, working together toward the end goal of providing families with essential financial support. It is this type of partnership that truly demonstrates how working together toward a common goal can bring about a dramatic, positive change to society. 
Real Property, Real Collections
CSLN Real Property Data Match Adds to Individual Child Support Collections for January
Child support enforcement offices have a variety of administrative enforcement remedies to collect past-due child support. One resource that is growing in popularity is real property data matching. To help states utilize this enforcement tool, the Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) offers a secure, web-based solution. The real property program includes such features as the match data, analysis, research, validation of match results, as well as the ability to record the property liens with the county recording offices. CSLN can also support an electronic interface, providing the state child support system with constant updates of current data and lien information.

The states of Arizona, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Texas have all benefited greatly from the increased collections resulting from real property matching. In fact, Arizona reported a single collection amount of $37,644.88 on January 6th of this year! This intercept, resulting from a real property lien recorded in Maricopa County back in 2018, will pay off the entire arrears balance of $34,548.17. In the State’s own words,

“The case came across to DCSS through CSLN and it does have current payments as of today, however, the real property payment of $37,644.88 will pay off the total arrears balance and it will all be going to the CP resulting in the case to be closed. This has been pending since 2018. Great Success and Teamwork! :) Thank you CSLN!”
States Tap CSLN as Resource to Assist with Legislative Compliance
Colorado and Washington, both of which are Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) members, recently passed legislation requiring insurance companies to report insurance claims to assist with the collection of past-due child support payments. Colorado enacted House Bill 21-1220 (HB 21-1220) which extends their existing insurance reporting requirements for personal injury, wrongful death and workers compensation claims to include life insurance claims for child support intercept. Washington Substitute House Bill 1416 (SHB 1416), requires insurers to report liability claims for bodily injury, wrongful death, and workers’ compensation, as well as claims under a policy of life insurance.
CSLN finds itself in a familiar position following the enactment of such proposals and changes, as it has in the past – leading the way with effective, educational outreach while fielding questions and providing guidance towards ensuring compliance. CSLN members, including government agencies and companies within the private sector (for example, insurers and third-party administrators), take comfort in knowing they have a navigation-like tool to rely on when piloting through new, legislative-driven processes.
This is one of many reasons why companies continue to turn to the public/private consortium known as CSLN. It was established in 1999 to effect positive change in the lives of children and families residing in our host state of Rhode Island. Today, CSLN is considered a national leader with its proven solutions that facilitate the insurance intercept process.
This success would not be possible without the cooperation and commitment of over 1,800 insurers. The increased participation of insurance companies embracing their corporate citizenship and social responsibility has a direct impact on the financial stability of the very families living in the communities they serve.
CSLN Insurance Resources for Legislative Compliance:
Both Colorado HB 21-1220 and Washington SHB 1416 took effect January 1, 2022. To find out whether your insurance company is compliant with this legislation, refer to the resources linked above or contact CSLN by phone at 888-240-7488 or by email at
Profiles: Introducing the New Faces of CSLN
It’s a new year and with it, we welcome some new CSLN recruits! In this Profiles feature we will learn about several new additions to the CSLN team, all of whom recently joined the consortium. Part of our success and growth here at CSLN can be attributed to our people, thus, we are excited to feature and for you to get to know, our latest team members. These include:
Julinda Xhemollari, Claims & Processing Lead
Liz Galante, Customer Service Representative
Maureen Foley, Outreach & Compliance Coordinator
Get acquainted with Julinda, Liz, and Maureen, below.
Julinda Xhemollari, Claims & Processing Team Lead
What does your job entail? My job entails reviewing team members’ quality assurance work and monitoring phone calls to ensure that only excellent customer service is provided. It also entails supporting CSLN management in planning, organizing, directing, and monitoring overall project performance.
What are three words you would you use to describe your role at CSLN? Lead, motivate, and inspire.
Do you have a favorite memory from working at CSLN? My favorite memory from work is how open armed and accepting the CSLN team was on my first day. I have never encountered such a warm welcome. The respect and support I received from every team member was unimaginable.

What do you like most your role at CSLN? Two things: being part of a dedicated team that has so much experience, and, being part of such a great cause (that is child support).
What drew you to CSLN originally? CLSN was a new world for me. I knew about child support and how hard families often have to fight to get the support they deserve, but I had never heard of a company that worked hand in hand with state agencies and insurers to help children. What CSLN does is so motivational, and I feel so grateful to be part of it.
What is your favorite book or movie and why? Although it was required reading for school, my favorite book is and will always be, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. The book teaches so many life lessons. Here’s one example: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—” “Sir?” “—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
What do you do when you are not working? When I am not working, I am a mom of two kids. A boy and a girl who constantly keep me on my toes. They keep me energized and motivated. I also enjoy taking vacations and being around people I love.
Liz Galante, Customer Service Representative
What does your job entail? Working with adjusters on the phones to verify matches and to help them navigate the website.

Do you have a favorite memory from working at CSLN? In the short time I’ve been here and given this opportunity, I would say working amongst my colleagues has been a pleasure and that I look forward to things ahead.

Before working at CSLN, what was the most unusual or interesting job you have had? Prior to being here I was a 'Dorm Parent' to twenty four (24) high school students at a private nonprofit boarding school in Westin, MA, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and long lasting relationships that still exist today.

What do you like most your role at CSLN? Contributing to helping families get the child support they’re owed. I know firsthand how hard it can be without having or receiving that support. It’s something I understand and identify with.

What drew you to CSLN originally? I relocated from the west coast and was looking for new opportunities and found this opening. It looked like a good opportunity that I can relate to and here I am!

What is your favorite book or movie and why? “A League Of Their Own.” The camaraderie amongst the women and the teams. Also, the overall storyline is great, and it’s all based on the truth.

What do you do when you are not working? My son recently started college and I recently relocated from the west coast to the east coast and am starting a new chapter.

Any random facts to share? I am the oldest of six children and I’ve lived in CA, NY, and MA.
Maureen Foley, Compliance & Outreach Coordinator
What does your job entail? At the CSLN Project Manager’s direction, I serve as the main contact person to provide information to both prospective and participating insurance companies as well as to project staff and management in areas pertaining to insurance outreach. I develop new and existing business with member states and insurance companies. Coordination of assignments with the Project Manager is another aspect of my role.
What are three words you would you use to describe your role at CSLN? Exciting, challenging, and multi-faceted.
Do you have a favorite memory from working at CSLN? So far, my favorite memory is from working with Ryan [a fellow CSLN team member] and realizing that we had already been acquainted with one another from my past career.
Before working at CSLN, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had? I have been in the automobile business over the last 40 years. When I had become one of the first women independent auto dealers in 2001, the job became most interesting.
What do you like most your role at CSLN? Most definitely the people I work with.
What is your favorite book or movie and why? Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” First reason is because it exposes what can happen when people are unshackled and are allowed to pursue their own goals – production increases and life is meaningful. The second reason is that the book explores how society can disintegrate when human nature is denied.
What do you do when you are not working? Participate in the caretaking of my beautiful, 85-year-old mother.
Any random facts to share? “Random acts of kindness” towards others can increase our levels of oxytocin, which is a hormone that makes us feel connected to each other and helps foster trust. It can have a profound impact on our mood!
Please join us in welcoming Julinda, Liz, and Maureen to the CSLN team!
Did You Know?
Custodial parents have become more likely to be fathers, increasing from 16.0 percent in 1994 to 20.1 percent in 2018.
- U.S. Census Bureau; “Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2017”
Word Search: Common Child Support Terms


Access the answer key or play this puzzle online here.
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