As I’ve taken on new responsibilities on the Conduent team this year, I’ve been lucky enough to attend several national and regional child support conferences. Recently I enjoyed the WICSEC 2022 Annual Training Conference, which was held in New Mexico’s capital, Santa Fe, with the theme “Homecoming.”
As a first-time attendee, I was happy to find out that my week would start with a “First Timers Orientation,” a way for those of us who hadn’t been to a WICSEC conference before to meet fellow new attendees and find out how things worked. We were also offered the chance to wear a colorful “First Timer” ribbon, which I happily attached to my lanyard. The ribbon helped first-timers recognize each other and helped break the ice during my many conversations with other attendees throughout the conference.
In terms of session programming, here are several highlights that stood out:
- I really enjoyed the two-part System Modernization session, “It Takes a Village: Modernizing a Child Support System.” There was so much insight and so many details from various states on their wide-ranging experiences. This resonated particularly well with me given my experience working on system modernization efforts in Delaware and South Carolina, including a role in project management.
- Since I didn’t have experience attending this particular conference, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I quickly found I learned things I could immediately apply to my day-to-day life. This included “Rose, Bud, Thorn” from the “Make Happy Work: How to Experience More Joy in Your Workplace” plenary. I certainly wasn’t expecting to do the Chicken Dance at 10 am on a Tuesday morning, but even that was fun.
- I also enjoyed the deep dives into topics like Paternity and Parentage, FPLS, Customer Websites, and Data Analysis and Decision Making.
Beyond the conference center, I loved the architecture and food of the host city of Santa Fe, which certainly lived up to its slogan, “The City Different.” I’ve already started planning to take a personal trip with my wife and two young girls to further explore the city of Santa Fe and the state of New Mexico. My colleagues told me that the WICSEC conference organizers always make an effort to incorporate the host city’s unique appeal into the conference, and they certainly succeeded on this front.
Along with the rest of the Conduent team, I was thrilled to get the chance to gather with so many insightful child support experts in Santa Fe for the last major regional child support conference of the year. We’re looking forward to seeing the community again for 2023’s first big child support event, the NCSEA Policy Forum in Washington, DC, in early February. Hope to have more great conversations there. If you want to connect with a member of our team before that, to discuss how we can help you better serve children and families, just click here to get in touch.