State Child Support Offices to Lead $6.2 Million Employment Project

A father and young son playfully wrestle while playing with building blocks.In an effort to engage and involve low-income noncustodial parents who are behind with their child support payments, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has awarded nearly $6.2 million to child support agencies in eight states to link these parents with employment services.

Studies show that most noncustodial parents want to be part of their children’s lives and provide financial and emotional support. For a variety of reasons many find it difficult to find and keep a job

Officially called the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Demonstration Projects, the grants are intended to reduce barriers to payment and increase employment among noncustodial parents over a five-year period. To that end, child support offices in the project states will provide:

  • child support case management
  • employment-oriented services that include job placement and retention;
  • fatherhood/parenting activities using peer support; and
  • enhanced child support procedures including the review and appropriate adjustment of child support orders.

“When noncustodial parents do not provide reliable financial support, their children are more likely to grow up in poverty and need public assistance,” said OCSE Commissioner Vicki Turetsky. “Billions of dollars in support go unpaid to children and families each year because parents are out of work and unable to provide it.”  

If a parent is unemployed and not paying support, child support agencies have limited tools at their disposal to enforce a parent’s financial obligation to provide kids the support they deserve. Unemployed parents who owe child support often cycle in and out of family court, costing courts and the child support system money without producing results.  

By linking child support efforts with employment programs, the demonstration projects are expected to increase the number of parents paying child support, increase the financial support kids receive, facilitate better child-parent relationships, and reduce family dependence on public assistance.

Throughout the grant period the effectiveness of the projects will be rigorously evaluated.

“These demonstrations will help us learn more about making child support a stable, reliable source of income that kids can count on throughout childhood and as they grow up,” says Turetsky.  “Fatherhood and parenting programming, strengthened by peer support, is an essential part of these grant projects.”

The following is a list of grantees for the noncustodial employment programs:

California Department of Social Services, Stanislaus County                                                     

Pathways to Self-Sufficiency Project                                                                   

FY 2012 Award: $200,000

Colorado Department of Human Services                                                 

Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project                                       

FY 2012 Award: $198,935

Iowa Department of Human Services                                                         

Connecting Noncustodial Parents to Employment                                                   

FY 2012 Award: $200,000

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Stark County (Canton)                                             

Right Path for Fathers Partnership                                                                           

 FY 2012 Award: $200,000

South Carolina Department of Social Services

Family Economic Stability Services

FY 2012 Award: $196,024

State of Tennessee                                                                                 

Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project                                 

FY 2012 Award: $198,935

Texas Office of the Attorney General                                                    

 Noncustodial Parents Choices – Peer                                                                         

FY 2012 Award: $199,995

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families                               

Supporting Parents Supporting Kids                               

FY 2012 Award: $194,416

Learn more about OCSE grants.

Learn more about OCSE.

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