Work-Oriented Programs for Noncustodial Parents
Program Innovation Maps
- Information About:
- State/Local Child Support Agencies, Employers
- Family Services & Referrals, Economic Stability/Job Services
- Program Information/Contacts, Promising Practices
- Program Innovation Maps, Toolkit & Training
- State Has Program
As of September 2011, at least 29 states and the District of Columbia are operating at least 38 work-oriented programs for noncustodial parents with active child support agency involvement. Most of these programs are not statewide, but some are.
AL Department of Human Resources Fatherhood Initiative
The Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, also known as the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), monitors 19 community-based fatherhood programs to assist fathers in securing employment through educational programs and skills training. The AL child support program has worked closely over the years with the Family Assistance Division and CTF to develop and strengthen their programs for fathers and families.
Accountability Court Alliance
The Arizona DCSE, in collaboration with the Arizona Center for Responsible Fatherhood, the Maricopa County Courts, and the Maricopa Skills Center developed an Accountability Court that offers delinquent child support obligors the opportunity to obtain skills training and job opportunities to meet their child support obligations.
Noncustodial Parent Outreach Work Referral Program (NPOWR!)
NPOWR! is a voluntary program that serves as an alternative to punitive support enforcement actions to help noncustodial parents establish employment through a structured and monitored course of skills assessment, educational or training referrals, and job placement. The program is also available to the courts as an alternative to civil or criminal sanctions.
(San Francisco) Job Support Program
Job Support is designed to help participants address their child support issues through an administrative process within the local child support agency. The Job Support Program represents a collaboration with the San Francisco child support agency and the workforce development One Stop Centers located in the community. Services include employment search assistance with up-to-date job listings, access to career centers, a work readiness evaluation and employment training programs.
The Parent Opportunity Program (POP)
This program links mothers and fathers with services in El Paso County (Colorado Springs, CO). The goal is to help parents overcome barriers to employment and payment of their child support. Through partnerships with community agencies, POP offers parents a wide range of services to help them become self-sufficient and give them opportunities to become more involved in their children’s lives.
District Of Columbia
DC Fathering Court
The DC Fathering Court provides noncustodial parents who are re-entering mainstream society after having been in prison with opportunities to secure employment and strengthen family ties through job and life skills training.
DC Employment Liaison
The DC Employment Liaison is an employment program within the DC Division of Child Support Services that assists noncustodial parents in their efforts to secure employment.
NCP Employment Program
This court-ordered program serves unemployed and underemployed noncustodial parents who are non-compliant with current support and have children receiving public assistance. The program is funded by Workforce Florida, Inc. and closely coordinates with CSE and the Courts. Courts make a direct referral to the community-based TANF One Stop Centers. The program uses innovative recruitment, training and tracking techniques to obtain paid employment as quickly as possible; and 6 months of continuous employment is a measure of program completion.
Georgia Fatherhood Program
The Georgia Office of Child Support Enforcement established the Georgia Fatherhood Program (GFP) to increase child support payments by improving the employment prospects of noncustodial parents. The program provides life skills training and job placement assistance to all participants. Other services, such as short- and long-term career training programs, are provided, as needed. The program was originally offered in Georgia’s 36 technical colleges and through a small number of other service providers.
DUI/Drug Court and Child Support Partnership
The Bannock County Drug Court partners with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to improve accountability of drug court participants. The drug court has a staff of professionals that collaborate regarding every aspect of services needed to produce success for participants. The group includes Probation and Parole, Public Defenders, Prosecuting Attorneys, Family Court Coordinators, Substance Abuse Counselors, and Mental Health Counselors. Team members meet each week prior to the weekly drug court when participants are required to attend. A child support staff member is invited to attend once a month to review and discuss each case that is connected to the child support program.
Enhanced Transitional Jobs Program
The IN child support program works with a private, non-profit program, called Recycleforce, which serves ex-offenders transitioning from prison to Marion County (Indianapolis) Indiana. Recycleforce assists ex-offenders by providing transitional jobs and other services so that they can meet their own needs as well as that of their children. It is one of seven sites in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration.
Turning it Around (TIA)
TIA is a voluntary counseling program sanctioned by the Court as an alternative to incarceration to assist individuals sentenced to jail for contempt/non support who are willing to make consistent child support payments and attend 12 classes designed to encourage and increase cooperative parenting. The program is completed while the noncustodial parent is in the Home Incarceration Program (HIP). HIP is an alternative to jail incarceration allowing individuals to serve their sentence at home while being electronically monitored. Between June 1, 2009 and June 5, 2011, 421 TIA participants have paid $1,005,669.
Family Employment and Support Program (FESP)
FESP is imbedded into the normal operating procedures of the Baltimore county CSE agency and at this time no special funding is associated with the program. The key feature of the program is to develop strong working relationships/partnerships with other government and community agencies. The core collaborative entity for FESP involves alignment between child support, court, local workforce development agencies, community employment agencies and a local community college along with direct referral capacity to local employers.
Excellence through Evaluation: Assessing Addressing and Achieving – An Enhanced Partnership to Strengthen Maryland’s Families
The MD Department of Human Resources Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA), in conjunction with its community partner, the Center for Urban Families and its university partner, the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being at Columbia University, proposes to enhance a CSEA/TANF locally designed community-based navigation service helping low-income, noncustodial fathers operate within the CSE system. The goal of the demonstration partnership is to increase fathers’ involvement with their children while also increasing the number of honored child support orders, the level of child support compliance and participation in arrearage reduction efforts.
Problem-Solving Child Support Court Project
The Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Child Support implements a holistic services approach to child support enforcement and collection. The services include psychological services, anger management, mental health services, transportation, housing, job training and job placement. The project serves “at risk” families, especially those who are struggling during economic crisis (i.e., numerous factors including current or recent unemployment) to meet the challenges in providing for the emotional and financial needs of their children.
This grant-funded project increases the financial well-being of children through the collaboration of local agencies that provide services to educate and assist noncustodial parents in building assets and in improving their financial literacy skills. The local county child support agency (Kent County Friend of the Court) is partnering with the local Assets for Independence (AFI) agency and a local non-profit agency (Hope Network) specializing in workforce development. Over the course of the grant, the partners will provide financial assessment, financial management and planning, employment counseling, and a referral to AFI’s IDA program for approximately 540 primarily noncustodial parents.
Mind the Gap
Minnesota’s “Mind the Gap” project addresses the barriers offenders must overcome to become employed and consistent payers of child support, and the lack of collaborative practices to bridge that gap. To improve service delivery and supports for returning offenders, Minnesota has implemented a strategic statewide plan, the Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP), a collaborative effort of 20 key state and local agencies under the direction of the commissioner of Corrections. A primary goal of MCORP is to align Minnesota’s many reentry programs into an integrated and coordinated whole. The inclusion of the Minnesota Child Support Enforcement Division in MCORP assists in building lasting collaborative relationships between state and local corrections and community partners for the successful reentry of offenders.
The Father Project
Affiliation with Goodwill/Easter Seals allows for multi-partnerships with community agencies and providers in a diverse range of services – child support referral, employment and training services, parenting classes, legal services, life skills empowerment, GED classes and other support services as needed.
Jackson County Fathering Court
The Jackson County Fathering Court in Kansas City was modeled after the drug court there. The Fathering Court was created to work with noncustodial fathers who were charged with criminal non-support who are later identified as struggling with alcohol, drugs, and/or employment and mental health issues. The Court’s case manager uses community agencies and programs to assist NCPs with re-establishing relationships with their children, teaching responsibility, and addressing financial barriers. The financial impact of the Court includes the amount of child support paid by the fathers and the avoidance of the cost of incarceration. This program was expanded statewide by the legislature to include 103 other courts, although present funding for this expansion is not available. The state IV-D director serves on the statutory steering committee.
Operation Fatherhood serves the fathers of Mercer County through Parenting Skills classes and Job Readiness workshops. Additionally, Operation Fatherhood develops contacts with area businesses that will accept applications from the hardest to reach populations (never employed, undereducated, and those with criminal backgrounds). Other programs held in conjunction with Operation Fatherhood through UIH Family Partners/Fatherhood Programs include group sessions on topics such as Health and Hygiene, Financial Literacy/Credit Repair, Interview Skills including Mock Interviews, Dress for Success and Computer Literacy. Operation Fatherhood works closely w/the Office of Child Support Services to help their clients meet their child support obligations.
The Parent Success Initiative
The Parent Success Initiative (PSI) is a partnership involving state and local governments and several non-profit service agencies. These partners have created a court-based screening and referral system to link noncustodial parents involved in child support proceedings with parenting and employment services. PSI was selected as one of seven sites to be part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration.
Support Through Employment Program
The New York City Office of Child Support Enforcement operates the Support Through Employment Program (STEP), which collaborates among the New York City Family Independence Administration, the IV-D courts, and numerous community-based workforce development organizations. It is a court-based program that allows support magistrates to refer noncustodial parents in need of employment assistance to service providers throughout the city.
Wake County Problem Solving Court
Noncustodial parents who are unemployed are mandated into Problem Solving Court as a way to avoid incarceration. Wrap-around services are dependent on the need of the participant and offer individualized justice and appropriate services, but also hold the noncustodial parent accountable through regular monitoring and sanctions for noncompliance. This court also uses electronic house arrest to hold parents accountable. Research on this program followed the child support payment behavior six months prior to and after a parent’s court hearing. Findings show that noncustodial parents paid more child support under all three alternatives examined – jail, services, and electronic house arrest – but those given services or placed under electronic house arrest paid more and paid more consistently than those ordered to jail.
Parental Responsibility Initiative for the Development of Employment (PRIDE)
The PRIDE project provides case management, job skills training, and job placement to help noncustodial parents obtain or improve employment. The initial design created a formal process in which noncustodial parents who appear before the court for a contempt hearing and are unemployed or underemployed may be referred to job services and required to comply with an employment plan. This project was originally started in one location and has been expanded statewide.
OH Fatherhood Commission
The OH Fatherhood Commission organizes statewide programs to support fathers in building parenting skills, securing employment, strengthening family bonds, and through increasing the awareness of the role fathers play in the lives of their children.
The primary goal of this project is to remove barriers that reentering parents face to pay current child support, while improving their family connections through partnerships with public, private, and faith-based organizations. The shared vision is that children of formerly incarcerated parents will have what they need – the emotional and financial support of their parents. Pathfinder will provide direct services and build community partnerships so that parents will: 1) find sustainable employment, and thus make reliable child support payments; 2) obtain useful referrals to meet employment, housing, transportation, parenthood, and health needs; and 3) receive assistance in navigating child support and court systems.
REAL Dads Program
Noncustodial parents are referred from child support into the REAL Dads program; the referral can be either court ordered or voluntary. The REAL Dads program is a partnership with the local child support and family court and the local one-stop employment program (“Super Jobs Center”). CSE conducts a review and adjustment of the existing order, which includes suspension of all child support enforcement actions while the NCP is an active participant in the fatherhood program, and debt leveraging on a case-by-case basis.
Court Liaison Program
Oklahoma Child Support Services operates the Court Liaison Program (CLP), which serves 36 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. A family court judge orders noncompliant noncustodial parents into the program. CLP coordinators offer referrals, one-on-one coaching, and other support needed to help noncustodial parents become gainfully employed. They also monitor the progress of noncustodial parents in the program and report that progress to the court.
OCSS Prisoner Reentry Initiative Project (PRI)
Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS) collaborates with two other Federal Prisoner Reentry Initiative grantees (Department of Corrections and Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa) in Tulsa to establish and administer a formal program of support for incarcerated noncustodial parents reentering the community so they may find employment, take care of their child support obligations and lead productive lives. The project is housed in the OCSS West Tulsa office and the grant staff work with caseloads from the OCSS Tulsa West and Tulsa East offices.
New Employment Opportunities for NCPs (NEON)
NEON serves unemployed and underemployed noncustodial parents who are noncompliant with current support. Participants may be court ordered, referred, or volunteer to participate. The program is a result of collaboration between many partners including the Pennsylvania Bureau of CSE, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Penn County Domestic Relations Sections/Family Courts, and Educational Data Systems, INC (a private company).
Center for Fathers and Families Alternatives to Incarceration
An alternative to incarceration for low-income noncustodial parents who are at risk of incarceration for nonpayment of child support, noncustodial parents are court ordered to participate in a 24-week fatherhood program that helps parents improve job readiness, find employment, acquire life skills and parenting education, navigate the child support system and other supportive services to provide financially and emotionally for their children. Each program utilizes a standardized curriculum, best practice guidelines, and eligibility requirements. Participants are expected to complete the 24-week program, obtain/maintain employment and pay child support within 45 days.
Child Support Employment Program
The TN Child Support Program has a family centered services grant that offers employment assistance for noncustodial parents in Nashville, Jackson area and Chattanooga. (Grant Number 90FD0139). It has an older program – TN Child Support Employment and Parenting Program - that began as an 1115 grant and has since been incorporated into the Department.
Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative
The project is a collaboration with the Department of Labor and Department of Justice recipients of PRI grants in Davidson County, and Nashville (which is in Davidson County), respectively. Through these projects, Davidson County has developed an extensive set of community collaborations to provide employment-focused services to soon-to-be-released and newly released prisoners in pre- and post-release settings. CSE hired a liaison to be co-located with the DOL and DOJ projects and to screen for child support issues among participants in those projects, as well as other ex-prisoners who seek reentry services from the Davidson County DOL project, which serves about 3,000 ex-prisoners per year. The goal is to add child support services to employment-centered projects offered to inmates and ex-offenders.
NCP Choices provides enhanced child support case compliance monitoring and employment services for noncustodial parents linked to a TANF/Medicaid case who are unemployed or underemployed and are not compliant with their child support obligations. Participation in the program is court ordered. The program is jointly funded by the Texas Workforce Commission and the TX Office of the Attorney General. NCPs ordered into NCP Choices have, on average, made no payments in the eight months prior to program entry and pay an average of $169 per month in the first year after program entry. Evaluation results show this as an overall 51 percent increase in child support payments for NCPs participating in this program as compared to a control group of similar NCPs in the OAG caseload.
Intensive Case Monitoring Program
Intensive Case Monitoring Program is an alternative sentencing option for individuals who have faulted in making child support payments and who are facing possible imprisonment. This program has expanded to nine jurisdictions and has successfully served the population in securing employment and subsequently, child support payments.
Project Get Connected
“Project Get Connected” initiative is aimed at helping noncustodial parents overcome barriers to employment so they can more effectively meet their responsibilities to support their children. The effort is focused on bringing together community-based organizations, government entities, and staff from the Division of Child Support to link noncustodial parents to the services they need. This initiative directly supports Washington State’s Division of Child Support Strategic Plan by providing services to NCPs tailored to their individual needs.
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood: The KISRA Fatherhood Program
The WV Bureau for Child Support Enforcement works with Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action, Inc., a faith-based organization, which provides employment-oriented services, parenting training, and other supportive services to noncustodial parents who are referred to them by the family court.
Child Support -Workforce Collaborative
Originally funded through ARRA, workforce and child support services are providing a transitional jobs program to noncustodial parents. The transitional jobs component provides a subsidy of about $7.25/hr for 6 months. The transitional jobs program is currently in operation and is administered by the Bureau of Working Families, the TANF program in the Division of Family and Economic Security.