Building on a Successful Year: Rutledge Elected for Second Term as WICSEC President
Ellen Rutledge, YoungWilliams’ Professional Development Coordinator, was re-elected President of the Western Intergovernmental Child Support Engagement Council (WICSEC) at its first-ever virtual conference in September.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be President of WICSEC again next year,” said Rutledge. “We learned a great deal about planning a virtual conference and have lots of ideas to keep the momentum going.”
During the opening plenary, Rutledge told attendees that her goal was for them to learn one new thing during the conference. WICSEC gave participants many opportunities to learn that one new thing. Two plenaries addressed issues that are particularly relevant to the child support community right now: the ability to adapt to rapid change and how to care for each other in the workplace. A third plenary talked about the “new normal” for child support employees and what a child support workplace looks like right now.
Breakout sessions introduced attendees to the concept of 2-Gen approaches to serving customers, tips and tools for virtual training, grant projects for intergovernmental case work, best practices for serving victims of domestic violence, and the concept of emotional health. WICSEC also offered two sessions geared to the IT community.
“This year’s sessions and speakers delivered more than basic training,” said Rutledge “The content was meant to support our colleagues who are facing a lot of challenges and changes right now.”
Another first came about this year – WICSEC and its sister organization, the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA), co-hosted the Interjurisdictional Fair (IJ Fair). The IJ Fair is a popular networking event at each conference where intergovernmental professionals engage and share ideas. The combined effort and the virtual platform meant that almost 500 people attended the IJ Fair. Ambassadors from more than 35 states and tribes presented on best practices. YoungWilliams sponsored this event, and Tammy Pearson, the YoungWilliams’ manager for its North Carolina projects, co-chaired the committee that put it together.
The next WICSEC conference will be in Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 22 - 28, 2021. You can find more information on the WICSEC website or follow WICSEC on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.