Child Support-Led Employment Programs by State

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

32 states operate a child support-led employment program for noncustodial parents. 14 states (shaded in green) provided additional details about their employment program in response to a 2019 survey by the National Council of Child Support Directors. 

Click on a state for more information. 

State Data

Alabama

Available Programs:

Children's Trust Fund (CTF) Visit disclaimer page  - The Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, also known as the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), monitors 22 community-based fatherhood programs to assist fathers in securing employment through educational programs and skills training.

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Arkansas

Available Programs:

Noncustodial Parent Outreach Work Referral Program (NPOWR!) Visit disclaimer page  - A 90-day program designed to provide employment placement assistance and job readiness services to noncustodial parents who are unemployed and behind in their child support payments. The Arkansas Office of Child Support Enforcement has partnered with the Arkansas Workforce Centers, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, and Arkansas Workforce Development Board, who provide services to help the noncustodial parent with skills assessment tools and job search assistance.

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California

No additional information available.

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Connecticut

Available Programs:

Connecticut's NCP employment services program is a joint effort among the Department of Social Services, Department of Labor, and the Judicial Branch's Support Enforcement Services.

The Judicial Branch and Family Support Magistrate can refer child support payors, who are in court for establishment, modification, or contempt proceedings, to the local American Job Center (AJC) office for specialized employment training and job search services.

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Colorado

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

Parent Opportunity Program Visit disclaimer page — The El Paso County child support program has partnered with Goodwill Industries and other community agencies to provide noncustodial 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.

Parents-to-Work Program Visit disclaimer page — The Arapahoe child support program has partnered with the local Workforce Center and community-based programs to provide employment services, fatherhood/parenting services and individualized child support services since 2006 using county funding.

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Delaware

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

Delaware Fatherhood Program Visit disclaimer page - The Delaware Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) formed the Delaware Fatherhood Initiative. One component of the initiative was the formation of the Delaware Fatherhood Program that works with noncustodial parents to provide training and educational programs, GED assistance, and help with job search efforts. Delaware DCSS has partnerships with other state agencies such as the Division of State Services Centers, Division of Social Services, and Department of Labor in job search efforts as well as community partners and non-profit organizations to help the noncustodial parent find long-term sustainable employment.

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District Of Columbia

Available Programs:

ERC Employment Program Visit disclaimer page - A referral-based program where DC Child Support Services Division refers interested customers to various local employment and job training/placement opportunities. Realizing that other factors may contribute to unemployment, DC also refers customers to organizations that help families in crisis access necessary resources like food assistance, clothing, shelter and housing, as well as physical and mental treatment facilities.

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Florida

Available Programs:

Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services (Gulf Coast JFCS) Visit disclaimer page  - Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program assists unemployed or underemployed noncustodial parents in establishing a pattern of regular child support payments by obtaining and maintaining unsubsidized, competitive employment. The program has helped over 20,000 unduplicated clients impacting more than 52,000 children since inception in 1996. The program serves Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, and Miami-Dade Counties to help parents who pay child support with interview training and resume writing, job search, career planning, job referrals, vocation and educational assessments, child support-related issues, help to keep or advance in a job, assistance with work-related expenses, and possibly reinstating driver’s license through Dept. of Revenue.

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Georgia

Available Programs:

Georgia Fatherhood Program Visit disclaimer page - The state-administered Fatherhood program (created in 1997, statewide since 1998) works with parents who owe child support through DCSS but are unable to pay because of various barriers. DCSS provides employability and life skills workshops and job placement assistance to noncustodial parents that are unemployed or under-employed. Assistance is also provided to participants who show a desire to enhance their skills for better employment through short-term training at the local technical school and other approved vendor schools. Many participants have barriers such as substance abuse problems or a criminal background that prevent them from obtaining and maintaining employment. After screening the candidate to determine service needs, the DCSS Fatherhood Agent makes referrals to other community-based agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Program participants receive continual coaching and mentoring from Fatherhood staff and other current and former participants. The Fatherhood Program hosts statewide career fairs and other activities to increase the participants’ employment opportunities.

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Kentucky

Available Programs:

Turning It Around - 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 that encourage and increase cooperative parenting. The program is completed while the noncustodial parent is in the Home Incarceration Program - an alternative to jail incarceration that allows individuals to serve their sentence at home while being electronically monitored.

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Massachusetts

Available Programs:

Massachusetts Workforce Development Program Visit disclaimer page - A collaboration among DOR’s Child Support Division, the Probate and Family Court, and the state’s workforce development agency to address employment-related barriers that noncustodial parents face in achieving economic stability and supporting their children. Child support staff identify noncustodial parents who are unemployed, underemployed, and otherwise meet the established criteria for participating in the program; the Court issues an order for the parent to participate in the program; Court Probation officers connect parents to the Massachusetts Department of Career Services (DCS) by scheduling the first appointment. DCS provides job search assistance that includes coaching on job search skills, workshops on a variety of job search strategies, access to computers, reference materials, and resume-building software.

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Maryland

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

Noncustodial Party Employment Programs Visit disclaimer page  assist unemployed or underemployed noncustodial parents in establishing a pattern of regular child support payments by obtaining and maintaining unsubsidized, competitive employment.

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Missouri

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

Responsible Parenthood Initiative (RPI) - The Family Support Division Visit disclaimer page established this initiative to help improve relationships between noncustodial parents and their children and increase financial support for families. Family Support enters into partnerships with community agencies that promote responsible parenthood practices. These agencies administer programs that provide services that help NCPs achieve self—sufficiency and encourage increased emotional, parental and financial involvement with their children. RPI aims to increase child support payments by negotiating payment agreements and improving the employment prospects of noncustodial parents. The program serves individuals throughout the state.

Jackson: The Child Support Court in Kansas City is modeled after its drug court. The Child Support Court works with noncustodial parents who were charged with criminal non-support and are later identified as struggling with alcohol, drugs, or employment and mental health issues. The Court’s case manager uses community agencies and programs to assist noncustodial parents with re-establishing relationships with their children, teaching responsibility, and addressing financial barriers. This program was expanded statewide by the legislature, although present funding for this expansion is not available.

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Michigan

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

Families Forward Demonstration (FFD) Visit disclaimer page - Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)—in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, and child support agencies in multiple states—examines new strategies to improve the earnings and financial capabilities of parents who owe child support but are unable to fully meet their obligations due to low earnings. The objective is to identify employment approaches that can be integrated into child support programs across the country to improve financial outcomes for noncustodial parents and increase their ability to support their children. FFD services are ending in 2021.

Learn, Earn, and Provide (LEAP) — Operations started March 2021. LEAP is a partnership between the Michigan Office of Child Support (OCS), Friend of the Court offices, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, and Michigan Works! to provide NCPs with a wide range of workforce development and job placement services integrated into enhanced child support services for program participants.

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Minnesota

No additional information available.

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North Carolina

Available Programs:

New Hanover County: The Fatherhood Support Program Visit disclaimer page is operated by the New Hanover County Department of Social Services. It collaborates with community-based partners to provide intensive case management, employment-oriented services, parenting classes, and family mediation services.

Edgecombe County: The Edgecombe County Fatherhood Initiative Program allows noncustodial fathers to obtain the necessary training and certification to secure employment. This model includes fathers who have criminal records and works with employers who hire those with a felony or misdemeanor conviction.

Mecklenburg County: The Empowering Fathers Fatherhood Program offers a holistic approach to strengthening families. The program addresses core competencies to include: fatherhood/parenting skills, economic mobility, economic stability, building healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and mediation.

Wilson County: The Wilson County Fatherhood Initiative serves unemployed noncustodial parents. Parent receive education and training to assist in obtaining employment, increasing child support payments, and removing barriers to their ability to access and interact with their children. This program includes responsible fatherhood and motherhood programming.

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New Mexico

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

STEP Up program provides onsite employment specialists from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. Referrals are based on the child support programs Ability to Pay Assessment and the NCPs current employment situation. Participants develop individual employment plans to address their roadblocks to employment. The program offers various job readiness skills, license reinstatement, resume writing, and job referrals.

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North Dakota

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

Parental Responsibility Initiative for the Development of Employment (PRIDE) Visit disclaimer page - The project provides case management, job skills training, and job placement to help noncustodial parents obtain or improve employment. Referrals come from the court and the child support program. It began in 2005 and is now statewide. It is a cooperative effort involving Job Service North Dakota (the state’s WIOA agency), the courts, and the Department of Human Services’ regional human service centers, TANF and Child Support Enforcement programs.

 

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New Jersey

Available Programs:

Operation Fatherhood Visit disclaimer page — This program serves the fathers of Mercer County through parenting classes, job readiness workshops, and other programs. It also develops contacts with area businesses that will accept applications from the populations hardest to reach (never employed, undereducated, and those with criminal backgrounds). The child support program works closely with Operation Fatherhood and their clients to ensure they have the child support services they need.

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New York

Available Programs:

New York City participated in the Families Forward Demonstration Visit disclaimer page .

New York City: The New York City Office of Child Support Enforcement Visit disclaimer page operates the Support Through Employment Program (STEP), in collaboration with the New York City Family Independence Administration, the Family Court, 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.

The Parent Support Program Visit disclaimer page is a partnership of the NYC child support program, the Family Court, and the Center for Court Innovation - a NYC-based nonprofit organization. This initiative targets low-income noncustodial parents who have been summoned to the Brooklyn Family Court for violation of their child support orders. These noncustodial parents are connected to employment, mediation, and other services designed to address their specific needs.

Allegany County: Based on requests from child support attorneys, Support Magistrates refer unemployed noncustodial parents to the Allegany County Employment and Training Office for assistance. The Employment and Training Office has been cooperative in placing noncustodial parents, where appropriate, into the same types of programs used for public assistance recipients.

Chenango County: Support Magistrates order unemployed noncustodial parents to report to the County Office of Employment and Training program by a certain date to develop and comply with their Employment and Training plan.

Cortland County: Cortland County has established a court ordered referral to Career Works Visit disclaimer page , which helps noncustodial parents with the necessary tools to obtain employment.

Franklin County: The child support program obtains court orders to refer unemployed noncustodial parents to the Employment and Training Unit. Referrals are assessed and scheduled for appropriate employment activities such as job readiness training, educational training and job search. The child support unit communicates directly with one employment worker at the Employment and Training Unit.

Onondaga County: Working with the Onondaga County Family Court, the Center for Court Innovations operates the Parent Support Program Visit disclaimer page that helps noncustodial parents find employment and meet their child support obligations by providing intensive, hands-on employment assistance.

Ontario County: Support Magistrates refer unemployed noncustodial parents to the Workforce Development Office.

St. Lawrence County: Support Magistrates and Family Court Judges order unemployed noncustodial parents to report to the One Stop Career Center and the Dept. of Labor as part of a suspended sentence. They must provide proof to child support that they have reported to both offices within 48 hours of the hearing and that they are continuing to report each week.

Seneca County: Support Magistrates refer unemployed noncustodial parents to the local workforce office.

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Ohio

This state participated in the Families Forward Demonstration Visit disclaimer page .

Cuyahoga County: The Cuyahoga County Office of Child Support Services collaborates with Towards Employment to provide credentialed occupational skills training for noncustodial parents who are unable to meet their child support obligations. Towards Employment provides extensive case management which includes initial assessment, career readiness training, financial literacy training, career coaching, occupational skills training placement, job placement, support services (e.g., transportation, specialized work clothes/shoes) and job retention services. Towards Employment works closely with local occupational skills training providers: Great Lakes Truck Driving School, 160 Driving Academy, Cleveland Industrial Training Center, Cuyahoga Community College, et al. The Office of Child Support Services provides regular case maintenance as well as responsive child support services for each Families Forward client, including a thorough case/order review for potential order modification and removal of any barriers, an initial consultation, and progress letters sent to clients as they meet program benchmarks.

Franklin: The Franklin County CSEA collaborates with numerous community partners and special initiatives to provide wraparound services, including employment, to noncustodial parents. Eligible parents are able to connect with a number of community partners for employment preparation, skill upgrades, placement assistance, and parenting support.

Stark County: The Stark County child support program operated the Right Path for Fathers project Visit disclaimer page as part of the OCSE National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration. The Right Path for Fathers was a partnership among Stark County Child Support, Goodwill Industries, Stark County Community Action Agency, and the Early Childhood Resource Center to provide employment services, fatherhood and parenting services, enhanced child support services, and intensive case management to unemployed noncustodial parents who are unable to meet their child support obligations. The program began in October 2012 and ended in November 2020.

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Pennsylvania

Available Programs:

Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster & Philadelphia Counties: New Employment Opportunities for Noncustodial Parents (NEON) serves unemployed noncustodial parents who are non-compliant with current support. Participants may be court-ordered, referred, or volunteer to participate. The program is a result of collaboration among many partners including the PA Bureau of CSE, PA County Domestic Relations Sections/Family Courts, and Educational Data Systems, INC (a private company).

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Rhode Island

Available Programs:

Project Restore (PDF) Visit disclaimer page is a program designed to help noncustodial parents who were paying child support consistently but can no longer due to job loss. Rhode Island’s child support program provides intake referral services to each NCP individually so their needs will be met. Contact the state child support agency for current status of specific locations.

Services may include help with filing a Motion for Relief, referral for job training, referral for SNAP benefits, housing, counseling, parenting class etc. The primary goal of Project Restore is to help the NCP enter suitable employment, often accomplished through assistance with resume writing, interviewing skills, and job leads.

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South Carolina

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

Jobs Not Jail Program Visit disclaimer page - South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families collaborates with the SC Child Support Services program to serve low-income noncustodial parents at-risk of incarceration for non-payment of child support. Most noncustodial parents are ordered to participate in a 24-week fatherhood program that helps them improve job readiness, find employment, acquire life skills, and navigate the child support system.

Charleston, Greenville, & Horry Counties: The SC child support program was one of eight grantees in OCSE’s National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration.

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Tennessee

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

Davidson, Hamilton, Knox & Shelby Counties: The Tennessee Department of Human Services, Child Support Services is partnering with the Department of Labor to provide unemployed parents who are behind in their child support obligations with case management, employment-oriented services, parenting classes, and enhanced child support services. The state was one of eight grantees in OCSE’s National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration but now uses TANF funding. The state has been able to serve 800 noncustodial parents in their effort to help participants achieve self-sufficiency by obtaining long-term employment.

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Texas

See program operation details to learn about how the state operates their employment programs.

Available Programs:

NCP Choices Visit disclaimer page The NCP Choices program targets low-income unemployed or underemployed noncustodial parents who are behind on their child support payments and whose children are current or former recipients of public assistance.

The goal of the program is to help noncustodial parents overcome substantial barriers to employment and career advancement while becoming economically self-sufficient and making consistent child support payments.

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Vermont

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

Work 4 Kids Visit disclaimer page - A statewide program in which a judge can order unemployed or underemployed noncustodial parents to obtain assessment and employment services through vocational rehabilitation.

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Virginia

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

The state offers programs to help noncustodial parents who have lost a job and can’t pay child support. The key partners include the Virginia Employment Commission and Goodwill industries.

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West Virginia

Available Programs:

KISRA Pathways to Responsible Parenthood Visit disclaimer page - The WV Bureau for Child Support Enforcement works with Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action, Inc., a faith-based organization that provides employment-oriented services, parenting training, and other supportive services to noncustodial parents referred by the family court.

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Washington

Available Programs:

Alternative Solutions Program Visit disclaimer page - A statewide program operated by the Washington State Division of Child Support as an employment focused initiative to help noncustodial parents resolve barriers and find employment before they reach the point of court contempt enforcement. Noncustodial parents in need of services will be referred to specialists called “navigators” who provide extra assistance and coaching to engage with community-based organizations for barrier removal and employment-related activities.

Families Forward Washington (FFW) Visit disclaimer page - Benton and Franklin Counties participated in a demonstration pilot project, Families Forward Washington (FFW), which provided job training and employment-focused services for parents who owe child support. In addition to free short-term occupational training for in-demand jobs; FFW provided case management and other supports to help parents find a permanent job to provide financial stability and the ability to pay child support.

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Wisconsin

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

Children First Program Visit disclaimer page provides employment and training services for noncustodial parents who are not paying child support due to being unemployed or under-employed.

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Wyoming

See program operation details to learn how the state operates its employment programs.

Available Programs:

The state is offering employment services to noncustodial parents as a pilot program in Laramie, Campbell, and Fremont counties. Parents can receive license reinstatement, expedited review and adjustment of child support orders, and various job readiness and job placement services.

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