The Times They Are a Changin’
New collaboration approaches in Child Support and Fatherhood Programs
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse November 29, 2016
August 2016 celebrated the 21st anniversary of National Child Support Awareness Month. On August 5, 1995, President William J. Clinton signed Proclamation 6814 highlighting the importance of providing for our children as the “sum of our past and the promise of our future,” and acknowledging the role of all child support programs to ensuring children receive the necessary financial support to “lead secure and healthy lives.”
Today, state and local child support offices are scheduling special events to focus on the importance of providing child support for children and highlight services available to help both custodial and noncustodial parents provide for their children on a regular basis. As previously discussed in our March 2013 and April 2015 NRFC webinars, child support programs are evolving at the national and state levels and moving away from “welfare cost recovery” models to “family centered practices” that emphasize accurate child support orders based on actual income, family distribution, debt prevention, and services to help noncustodial parents who need help obtaining steady employment.
To discuss this change of direction, on August 17, 2016, we hosted a webinar featuring James Murray, Senior Advisor at Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) in Washington, DC; Kelly R. Little, Program Supervisor and Responsible Parents Leader at Mecklenburg County Child Support Enforcement (MCCSE) in Charlotte, NC; and Cheri Tillis, Executive Vice President, and Lisl King Williams, Director of legal services at Fathers’ Support Center (FSC) in St. Louis, MO.
If you were unable to join us for this webinar, would like to view it again, or are interested in the related resources and materials, please visit the NRFC Webinar page. Through this webinar, we hope you will find what you need to join the discussion on how national and local child support policies and approaches are evolving, understand the importance of paternity establishment for children, fathers, and mothers, and learn how child support order amounts are set and how they can be modified when circumstances change. We also learned about new approaches in which fatherhood programs and child support agencies can work together to ensure that fathers have access to employment services, receive accurate information about child support, and get help with the modification of orders and arrearages as appropriate.
We greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn and discuss examples of successful local partnerships between fatherhood programs and child support offices and hope to continue the conversation in the future.