Connecting Across the Miles at NCSEA Policy Forum 2022
Earlier this month, the child support community enjoyed the first big national child support event of 2022, the Policy Forum sponsored by the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA.) Conduent is always thrilled to participate as a Corporate Platinum Partner, supporting this important annual opportunity to share, learn, connect and talk with other members of the child support community.
Two years ago, Policy Forum was one of the last major in-person events to take place pre-pandemic; last year’s Policy Forum was fully virtual. This year’s event combined both approaches, sharing plenary sessions with both in-person and virtual attendees with the theme of “Focusing on Our Vision – Recognizing Our Perspectives.” The session coordinators were asked to approach each topic with an equity lens, a plan that succeeded and was appreciated by the participants.
The Conduent team attended both in-person and virtually. A highlight was listening to newly-appointed Commissioner Tanguler Gray share her thoughts about the future. She gave her primary goal as “Engagement,” hearing all voices and encouraging participation, a goal welcomed by the audience. Commissioner Gray was a former Georgia Child Support Director and a former NCSEA President.
As a virtual attendee, I was able to listen in on sessions about important topics like establishing paternity and determining legal parentage in diverse family situations. The paternity session opened with a historical perspective on paternity dating back to the 1920s with an insightful look at emotional and familial considerations as well as the changes that have occurred through the years in technological determination. The situation in the 2020s is much different in technology, but emotional and familial priorities are similar in some cases to what they were 100 years ago. This was a thought-provoking session!
Our in-person attendees were able to attend the sessions that most interested them, in addition to connecting with clients and colleagues, often for the first time in a while. Hal Carl, our subject matter expert in system modernization, attended several presentations where states shared their recent experience modernizing their systems. Their discussions about modernization approach, challenges, and lessons learned demonstrated a program that is focused on using technology to further the program and its objectives.
With sessions focused on child support program decision-makers’ most pressing concerns—like performance metrics, modernization and the significance of the parent voice in shaping policy—the Policy Forum yielded a tremendous amount of insightful conversation. But the conversation didn’t end when in-person attendees headed home from Washington, DC. As is always the case with Policy Forum, whether it’s in-person, virtual, or both, what takes place at the event is just the beginning.