New Jersey Child Support Institute

The New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI) is a collaborative partnership of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development, Office of Child Support Services (OCSS); the Judiciary; the County Welfare Agencies (CWA); and the Institute for Families at the School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. NJCSI is the first comprehensive training program designed exclusively for the professionals employed in the New Jersey Child Support Program.

Initial funding for the institute was awarded in 2005; NJCSI opened its doors and offered its first training course in the spring of 2007. The original concept was to create a training institute with a strong university partnership that would enable the New Jersey Child Support Program to meet its training needs with a high degree of credibility using proven adult learning methodologies.

NJCSI's mission is to deliver coordinated and comprehensive training to the professionals who work in New Jersey's Child Support Program to ensure that children and their families obtain the financial and medical security they deserve.

NJCSI delivers training programs to child support staff from New Jersey’s County Welfare Agencies, Probation Child Support Enforcement Units, and Family Divisions. NJCSI employs an integrated, Web-based Learning Management System that consolidates registration, enrollment management, evaluation, and reporting functions. NJCSI develops all curricular materials, including hands-on computer simulations, and delivers sessions at three state-of-the-art training facilities throughout New Jersey, as well as upon request at agencies and offices. Instructors include subject-matter experts and former child support professionals with experience in the Office of Child Support Services, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Judiciary, the Family Divisions, the Probation Child Support Enforcement Units, and the County Welfare Agencies.

Click on the links at left for more information about NJCSI’s programs and services.

Contact Us
New Jersey Child Support Institute
Institute for Families
School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
120 Albany Street, Tower One, Fifth Floor, Suite 503
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Theresa Comprelli McCutcheon
Managing Director
Institute for Families, School of Social Work 
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
732.543.3312 Cell  |  848.932.0505 Office

NJCSI Training Program

NJCSI offers foundational training programs to strengthen child support professionals, leadership and professional development, technical workforce development, and agency-specific certificate tracks. Our development and training teams have expertise in curriculum and training development processes and learning management system (LMS) development and maintenance.

Because highly skilled instructors are vital to the success of any training program, our instructors are required to complete a certificate program in training and delivery skills. They also complete a train-the-trainer program for every course they teach, which ensures consistency in delivery throughout every region of the state. Our instructors are highly skilled in planning workshops; creating effective training presentations; working with cases and role plays; and experiential and interactive training methods. Other areas of expertise include

  • Working with web-based applications
  • Explaining system processes
  • Presenting interactive “real life” scenarios and work simulations
  • Gauging participants’ skills and customizing presentations to maximize learning

We offer several modes of training delivery:

  • Instructor-led training at three NJCSI training facilities
  • Blended—instructor-led training augmented with web or computer based instructional technology
  • Web-based training (WBT) accessed through the Learning Management System

Core Training Competencies
An effective training system aligns with organizational outcomes, enables learners to build knowledge sequentially, integrates across various participant audiences, and applies multiple adult learning methods.  Our programs are designed for optimal knowledge transfer and consistent application in the field.

  • Adult Learning Styles: NJCSI courses have been designed to satisfy the unique needs of adult learners.  We employ various training techniques to ensure that learning experiences help workers resolve problems they face in their daily work.  Exercises and activities are designed to establish collaborative learning environments so that participants can learn from one another.  
  • Presentation Skills: NJCI Training Coordinators are selected and evaluated on their ability to encourage participation and build learner motivation.  Competencies include those behaviors that support the alignment of course materials with the varied needs of learners.    
  • Engagement: Virtual and instructor-led training programs are designed to keep learners engaged.  Higher-level critical thinking skills are promoted through the use of collaborative and hands-on activities that increase attention and focus.  
  • Instructional Technologies: The instructional technology team supports the fusion of tools and practices to provide the very best in educational technology services.  Technical designers collaborate with instructors, designers, and our state partners to enrich teaching and learning through the use of technology.

Training Site Drop-in Days
Drop-in days provide participants with additional hands-on training with NJCSI instructors or subject-matter experts. These sessions provide information, guidance, and small-group discussion in an informal, supportive learning environment. Participants can choose to drop in during conveniently scheduled sessions, such as early morning, lunch time, or late afternoon.

Drop-in sessions focus on specific learning objectives that can be achieved in a short period of time, and be connected to specific courses to enhance transfer of learning. Sessions are scheduled monthly and offered at each of the three NJCSI training sites and at the local offices as requested.

Coaching and Mentoring
NJCSI offers coaching sessions to enhance the skills and competencies learned in its professional development courses. Leadership coaching sessions are offered to participants enrolled in the Professional Development: Managers and Supervisors Training Series. This eight-day series provides managers and supervisors of the New Jersey Child Support Program with the necessary skills to effectively lead their staff and their organization. Course content focuses on leadership competencies such as professional development, action planning, and motivating employees.

After completing the course, participants receive individualized coaching and support with a Leadership Coach. Activities include on-site group sessions, phone calls or in-person discussions regarding managerial best practices, strength-based feedback, and guidance and support developing action plans.

Other professional field support and specialized educational outreach programs include:

  • Judicial College
  • Working with the Military on Child Support Matters
Father and son

NJCSI Curriculum Development

All of our courses and instructional technologies are developed using the ADDIE model of instructional design, which consists of analysisdesigndevelopmentimplementation, and evaluation. NJCSI’s instructor-led curriculum development process includes the following steps:

  • Phase 1: Analysis—Needs Assessment
    During the needs assessment process our curriculum development team meets key stakeholders; identifies program goals, audience, and desired results; develops learning objectives; and identifies subject matter experts (SMEs) who will participate in the task analysis and development process.
  • Phase 2: Planning and Development
    The planning and development process includes identifying tasks and procedures that support learning objectives; making recommendations for key stakeholders to approve; developing preliminary content including participant guides, PowerPoint slides, activities, and handouts, and submitting curriculum for editorial review.
  • Phase 3: Intervention and Implementation
    During the implementation process, curriculum is uploaded to the Learning Management System (LMS). The training team facilitates a walk through, pilot, and Train-the-Trainer process prior to launching the course.  Once the course is finalized and approved, it is added to training calendar at all three site locations.
  • Phase 4: Assessing and Monitoring
    During this final development phase, the development team completes reaction and learning evaluations; the results are compiled into a quarterly report and sent to our state partners. Behavioral 60-day post-evaluations are sent to participants and their immediate supervisors to assess the impact of training on staff performance outcomes.

Instructional Technologies
Teaching and learning is enriched through the use of instructional technology. Our technology team collaborates with instructors, course designers, and our state partners to increase the value of teaching and learning through the use of technology. Our team uses the latest software, hardware, and learning technology trends to build innovative learning solutions. We also use proven adult learning methodologies to blend tools and practices for self-paced, instructor-led, and virtual environments.

NJCSI’s technology team offers a broad array of solutions based on needs, audience, and environment. Our instructional technology offerings generally fall under two categories: learning objects and instruction support technology.

Learning objects are independent transportable and reusable instructional tools that are digitally managed and delivered:

  • Web-Based training modules
  • Simulations
  • Learning activities
  • Videos

Instructional support technologies are used in a classroom environment to augment the instructor led experience:

  • Polling technologies
  • Lecture capture
  • Forums
  • Webinars
Mothers and children sitting on rug

NJCSI Outreach

NJCSI works in collaboration with non-profit and community-based organizations, and provides specialized educational outreach programs to child support professionals. We also use communication strategies such as the LMS, direct marketing, e-mail, e-news, brochures, and multimedia technologies to promote and publicize training activities.

Community-based Outreach

  • Operation Fatherhood
  • Fatherhood workshops at New Brunswick Public Library
  • New Jersey Hispanic Outreach at Montclair State University
  • Celebrating Fatherhood, an annual event featuring speakers, workshops and resources related to engaging fathers in the well-being of their children

Educational Outreach and Support
In order to provide participants with additional resources and support after completion of a training program, NJCSI offers two training support services: Training Site Drop-in Days and Leadership Coaching.

Conferences and Meetings
NJCSI regularly participates in regional and national child support and human services conferences. We also support local and state-wide training events that address topics related to the field of social work, child support training programs, professional development, and adult learning such as the:

  • National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) Leadership Symposium
  • National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Professional Development Conference
  • Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Annual Conference
  • National Association of Social Workers Annual Conference
  • Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council (WICES) Annual Conference
  • National Network of Social Work Managers Annual Conference
Social Worker working with child

NJCSI Research and Evaluation

NJCSI’s programs undergo a rigorous cycle of needs assessment, development, validation, and evaluation.  Our course designers and instructors work in teams with state and local subject matter experts (SMEs) to develop each course. All participants complete pre-and post-training assessments to measure knowledge growth and course evaluations to capture feedback about the effectiveness of the training delivery and course materials. Our evaluators collect and analyze the data and provide reports on NJCSI service levels to our state partners. The evaluation information helps identify new training opportunities and areas requiring a change in policy or procedure.  In addition, NJCSI uses the data to improve the quality of its programs and to ensure that it continues to meet the training requirements of the state’s child support professionals.

NJCSI uses an evaluation model that focuses on identifying changes in knowledge and skills of participants, measuring changes in worker performance following training, and examining changes in outcomes for children and families served by the NJ Office of Child Support Services (OCSS).  These evaluations examine proximal, intermediate, and long-term outcomes of our training programs.

  • Proximal Outcomes—Changes in Knowledge: Changes in trainee knowledge are examined through pretest and posttest surveys conducted for each course.
  • Intermediate Outcomes—60-Day Post-Training Assessment: To examine the extent to which training content is incorporated into practice, NJCSI seeks input from trainees and their supervisors regarding on-the-job performance following the training. The 60-Day Post-Training Assessment is completed online, using survey software accessible through the LMS.
  • Process Evaluation: Process evaluation activities focus on obtaining and reporting information such as number of trainings held, number of staff trained, and profile of staff trained. Efforts are also made to identify obstacles that may prohibit effective application of training skills in the child support enforcement program in New Jersey.

Visit the IFF homepage where you can download IFF documents including select NJCSI reports.

Father and son
Mothers and children sitting on rug
Social Worker working with child