The director of North Dakota’s Child Support Enforcement Division is retiring.
The Department of Human Services announced today that Mike Schwindt is stepping down after 35 years of service to North Dakota.
Schwindt joined the department in December 1978 as director of management services, according to a news release. In November 1998, department Executive Director Carol Olson selected Schwindt to lead the Child Support Enforcement Division.
“Over the past 12 years, Mike has transformed a program that was facing federal penalties into one of the top performing child support enforcement programs in the country,” Olson said in a statement.
In 2008, the National Child Support Enforcement Association honored Schwindt with the Outstanding Manager Award and awarded North Dakota the Outstanding Program Award. During 2007, North Dakota received regional and national awards for a program Schwindt championed that helps non-custodial parents find work or better-paying jobs.
Under Schwindt’s leadership in the late 1990s, the state disbursement unit assumed collection, recording and disbursement functions from the county clerks of courts, the release said. He also oversaw the transition from paper checks to electronic payments via debit cards and direct deposit. Most recently, he led the transition as the eight regional child support enforcement units moved from county to state agency administration.
Prior to joining Human Services, Schwindt served as chief auditor in the State Auditor’s Office. Additionally, he was one of the founders of and served on the board of directors for the North Dakota Insurance Reserve fund for 12 years. He also served on the State Board of Accountancy for 10 years.
North Dakota’s Child Support Enforcement Program serves about 60,000 children and 90,000 parents and collects in excess of $120 million per year.
Olson said division deputy director and legal counsel Jim Fleming will serve as the acting director until a replacement is found.