Child Support Programs
Everyone wins when non-custodial parents find employment, pay their child support, and develop parenting skills. The Center’s Syracuse office, in collaboration with the Onondaga County Family Court, Syracuse University's Family Law & Social Policy Center, and a community-based program known as the Parent Success Initiative, piloted New York State’s first problem-solving child support program in 2008. Using this program as a model, the Center for Court Innovation worked with the New York City Human Resources Administration, the New York City Family Court, and FEGS to launch the Kings County Parent Support Program in 2010. Both programs link non-custodial parents with needed services to increase child support payments and maintain healthy parent-child relationships.
How It Works
The Parent Support Program is designed to help non-custodial parents meet their child support obligations and build stronger relationships with their children. The program links non-custodial parents who are involved in child support cases with a range of employment services and other assistance, including job skills development, vocational training, case management, family life skills classes, continuing education and literacy classes, legal advice and representation, transportation assistance, and child care.
Judges refer eligible non-custodial parents to the program when they appear in court for their child support cases. A resource coordinator screens each parent, assessing the client’s individual needs and linking him/her with appropriate services. The resource coordinator then monitors the client’s participation in the program, and provides the court with regular progress reports.
Recently twenty-two fathers graduated from the Kings County Parent Support Program. As a group, they have contributed over $44,000 to the support of their children since enrolling. Overall, the program has collected approximately half a million dollars and is aiding dads who are now employed, paying child support and participating in their children's lives.
During the first two years of the Parent Support Program in Syracuse:
- 432 non-custodial parents were deemed eligible for the program.
- 70% of eligible participants who accessed employment services were placed in positions of employment.