Program helps to address chronic non-payments of child support
December 21, 2011
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is announcing the availability of the Problem Solving Court program (PSC) in Ellijay to assist non-custodial parents with meeting their child support obligations. PSC provides an alternative to incarceration for failing to meet child support obligations by addressing underlying issues and barriers that cause non-custodial parents to become chronic non-payers of child support.
“The Problem Solving Court model began as an effort to ensure that financial assistance is being provided to children on a consistent basis,” said Keith Horton, Director of DHS’ Division of Child Support Services. “When a parent is able to meet their child support obligations it is a win-win situation not just for the child and the parents involved, but also for the taxpayers of Georgia.”
Through judicial oversight and partnership with community resources, PSC will assist and transition non-custodial parents with barriers to self-sufficiency through provisions of remedial services and therapy, as well as parent accountability to increase the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay child support on a consistent basis. In achieving this goal, PSC will also assist with the provision of employment skills, training, life skills, and access and visitation referrals. Currently, the PSC program is available in Augusta, Carrollton, Newnan and Gainesville.
Judge Brenda Weaver, Chief Superior Court Judge of the Gilmer County Superior Court in Ellijay serves as the presiding judge-decision maker and is partnering with DCSS and the Administrative Office of the Courts for the PSC program.
"Problem Solving Court is about creating real parents and helping them to start on a new path forward with their lives and children," said Judge Weaver.
In October, an estimated 38.70% of non-custodial parents in Ellijay were not paying child support on a consistent basis. Ellijay is very close to the statewide average of 38.30%. Over the last four years, Georgia has moved nationally from 47th to 28th in current support payments.
For more information about the Problem Solving Court Program and other programs with DHS’ Division of Child Support Services, visit www.ocss.dhs.georgia.gov.
Media Contact: Lisa Marie Shekell