***Includes Fatherhood & Problem Solving Court***
In the fall of 2012, the Georgia Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) created a work unit named "Community Outreach Programs." This community focused group includes the Georgia Fatherhood Program, Problem Solving Courts, and the Strategic Outreach Programs which includes corporate and grant initiatives.
The Georgia Fatherhood Program, created by the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) in 1997, works with Non-custodial parents who owe child support but lack the ability to pay. Georgia’s Fatherhood Program is the largest state-operated fatherhood program in the country. Georgia recognizes that many non-custodial parents want to pay their court-ordered child support but lack the economic capacity to do so. DCSS has partnered with other government and community agencies to develop a comprehensive network of services focused on assisting these non-custodial parents overcome their barriers to consistent payment of court ordered child support.
Barriers facing many participants include:
•Lack of a high school diploma
•Driver’s License suspension by DCSS
•Alcohol & substance abuse problems
•Gainful, stable employment
•Mental health issues
Completion of the Fatherhood Program generally takes three to nine months. This program serves both fathers and mothers who are non-custodial parents. Once enrolled, participants are required to pay child support, attend workshops, seek employment and further their education with assistance.
The Georgia Fatherhood Programs establishes collaborative partnerships with many state and local resources, including Child Access and Visitation Programs, the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program, local Technical Colleges and the Georgia Department of Labor. The list continues to grow as we identify additional outreach relationships!
Non-custodial parents are also required to obtain medical insurance through their employer, if available at a reasonable cost, resulting in decreased medical cost to the taxpayer. Employer withholding of support payments minimizes the need for enforcement action. Consistent financial support for custodial parents reduces the need for TANF and other government services.
"Additional Outreach Programs"
Problem Solving Court/Parent Accountability Courts
The Problem Solving Court Program seeks to remove the underlying issues that cause non-custodial parents to become chronic non-payers of child support. Through judicial oversight, Problem Solving Court assists to transition non-custodial parents with barriers to self-sufficiency through parent accountability, employment and education. Services offered through Problem Solving Court include substance abuse treatment, job assistance and placement, short term training, coaching and mentoring, educational services, and Georgia Work Ready as an alternative to incarceration.
Strategic Outreach Programs
Develop strategic partnerships with corporations, non-profit, clergy, government and educational organizations. These collaborative partnerships are focused on job placement and training for successful placement.
- Enhanced Transition Jobs Demonstration Program - From 2012-2015, DCSS and Goodwill will offer an opportunity to participate in a collaborative effort between DHS/Division of Child Support Services/Georgia Fatherhood Program and Goodwill Industries. We offer short-term paid transitional jobs with enhanced supportive services. The Enhanced Transition Jobs Demonstration, “ETJD”, also provides occupational skills training, case management, and job placement and retention services. An initial assessment is provided by the Goodwill/DCSS partnership. Project participants will be randomly assigned by the computer to either a Program group or a Control group. Program group members will receive ETJD special services, while control group members will continue with regular Fatherhood Program services.
For information about the Georgia Fatherhood Services Program and other Community Outreach Services, call 1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347) and select option 1 for DCSS, then select 2 for Agent and then select 3 for Outreach.