Rice is in her seventh year as director of child services for the D.C.'s Child Support Services Division. How did you get into the field?

I came to this field after doing many phases in law. I got out of law school and did tax, criminal, and civil litigation, and in 1991 I found myself in the family section in the [Arizona] Office of the Attorney General. It's fascinating. No case is the same, and the challenge is rewarding.

Why did you move to D.C.?

My family is in the Northeast and I wanted to be closer to family. And I love the challenge of the District's program.

CSSD just got a snazzy red, blue and yellow Winnebago to be able to provide services where people live. What will this do?

Our outreach van is part of our desire to establish ourselves as a partner to the community and our customers. We want people to access us more easily. ... This will make people better able to manage their own case matter.

You're doing paternity tests on the go. What will keep people from running away?

The same things that bring hundreds of people into our waiting room every day. We have a huge number of fathers who want to be fathers but need help establishing paternity. ... We have mothers and fathers who seek our help in getting financial assistance. We are also going to be providing people with information other than just child support services -- how to access health care insurance, employment services, livable-wage jobs.

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

It's twofold. One is to help customers. ... The second thing is my interaction daily at the office of the attorney general with my colleagues, the child support professionals. Their dedication to helping children and the families in the District of Columbia is phenomenal.