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Policy and Practice at the 2020 NCSEA Policy Forum

“Engagement:  Putting Policy into Practice” was the theme of the 2020 Policy Forum of the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) held recently in Washington, DC.  Sharing and discussing policy are key goals of this annual conference, and this year’s theme moved attendees to take action in serving families.

As the sole Platinum Corporate Partner, Conduent’s team responded to the call for action and was on hand to support the forum.  Nearly 550 child support professionals met from February 6th to 8th to network and prepare to put new knowledge into real practice. In addition to state, county, and tribal attendees, more than 25 international participants attended the pre-conference International Roundtable.

The forum was packed with great sessions that provided research and solid information about successful projects that demonstrate best practices. Here are a few examples:

Federal Updates – Updates from federal leaders are always part of the Policy Forum agenda, but this was an unusually exciting year, with two federal update sessions making the list of highlights. The opening session featured six speakers from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) who offered help in putting policy into practice to reduce poverty and secure reliable child support income. On Friday, a larger all-star panel featured speakers from child support-impacting programs including Medicaid, TANF, Child Care, and more. The panel engaged the crowd with information about how programs can work together effectively.

Current Successes - Our own Robbie Endris moderated a panel on model targeted and integrated services in Colorado, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.  Although varying in their approaches, all three showed that changing a service delivery model to fit the needs of customers can improve results. Innovation and change should not be feared.

Cybersecurity – Is it possible to have a presentation on cybersecurity that keeps the audience laughing? In the last session of the conference, Etay Maor proved that could happen! He amazed, amused, and scared us to death in less than an hour. Derek Cullum of OCSE followed up with assurances that the federal office was available to help, relieving some anxiety.

This Policy Forum provided far more than facts and procedures. The human side was evident in presentations validating that you can go from helpless to hopeful. Deborah Bergeron, Director of the Office of Head Start and Early Childhood Development, shared a letter from a mother who went to Head Start for help and moved from being a helpless single mother to becoming a helpful career woman with two doctoral degrees. The mother attributed her success to support provided through the Head Start program at her most vulnerable time. Hearing how policies and programs really help families was a strong motivator for the attendees.

Our team returned from Washington, DC, energized and ready to continue helping child support agencies across the country improve mission-critical services for families. 2019 was a great year for Conduent, including highlights such as:

We’re looking forward to working closely with our valued clients all across the country, long-term and new, for an even more eventful and productive 2020. See you in Anaheim for the Leadership Symposium!