State and federal laws across the nation require birth parents to contribute to care and support of their children. However, while parents battle over custody and visitation, some forget the child support is a separate issue and obligation. As a result, millions of child support cases are handled annually. And those parents who fail to provide support are subject to paying arrearages, professional and driving license suspensions, and possibly spending time in jail.
Some states, understanding that parents may be suffering financial set backs, have established initiatives to get parents back to work and on the road. California established its Get Back On The Road program to lift driving license revocations and suspensions for working parents, who cannot obtained better employment without being able to drive. Rhode Island has its own Fatherhood Initiative which is geared toward helping non-custodial parents, mainly fathers, obtain job training and placement. The District of Columbia offers a similar program, The Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program, which is a partnership between the District’s Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Services Division (CSSD) and the Department of Employment Services (DOES). In this program, unemployed parents are aided in their attempts to find jobs. In Alabama, their version of the Fatherhood Initiative is geared toward improving parent child relationships and also provides counseling, education, and training as well as employment opportunities.
Child support assistance goes beyond state action. Even several of the domestic sovereignties also provide help. Some Native Americans are members of tribal sovereignties. These sovereignties are separate governments existing within the boundaries of the United States. In an effort to provide stability and support to children of tribal members, child support enforcement programs facilitate collection of support obligations.
Also, the National Tribal Child Support Association (NTCSA) also provides assistance to parents seeking help in their child support collection efforts. With support resources associated with several of the domestic sovereignties, this organization serves as a national resource, including access to electronic child support resource systems.
Child support obligations can create lots of stress for custodial and non-custodial parents. There are programs and other resources available for those parents looking to find work, counseling and guidance for meeting their obligations. There are also resources for those parents seeking help in collecting obligations. In either case, many domestic organizations and governments are working hard to ensure that America’s children have all the support they need.
For more information about some of the child support resources and initiatives, check out the following websites: