From Arapahoe County:
The Parents to Work Program helps parents become employed, self-sufficient and meet their child support obligations. Parents to Work is offered by the Arapahoe County Child Support Enforcement Division, in partnership with the Arapahoe/Douglas Works!Workforce Center and the 18th Judicial District.
"Many non-custodial parents face a host of economic and employment barriers that make it difficult to comply with child support," said Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Jackson. "The Parents to Work Program has demonstrated a way to break down those barriers using workforce development services to help parents become more confident and self-sufficient, and improve the future for their children."
Through the pilot project, more than 600 unemployed and underemployed parents were randomly selected to receive employment-focused and supportive services. Participation was voluntary; 69 percent in the experimental group chose to actively engage in workforce development activities. Workforce center personnel were conveniently co-located at the Child Support Enforcement Office (14980 E. Alameda Drive, Aurora) to offer case management, assessments, skills training, connections to hiring employers, assistance with submitting job applications and an intensive job club.
Parents who received workforce services were 23 percent more likely to have earnings than a control group of 349 parents who did not receive services. Sixty-five percent of the participants found full-time jobs at an average hourly wage of $10.95, while 22 percent became employed part-time and 12 percent obtained subsidized jobs at an average hourly wage of $10. More than two-thirds stayed employed after 12 months.
Participating parents paid 5.7 child support payments in a 12-month period, compared to only 4 payments for non-participants. Participants also increased the amount of child support they paid by from 36.6 to 41.1 percent of support owed, while non-participants decreased payments from 28.2 to 27.5 percent. As a result of being able to buy goods and services with their earnings, it is estimated that the Parents to Work participants contributed an additional $6.5 million in earnings and $11.5 million in regional sales/revenue growth to the local economy.
The Parents to Work Program is now available to any non-custodial parent and is funded with state and federal dollars through the Colorado Works Program. For more information about Parents to Work Program, or to request assistance with establishing, modifying or enforcing a child support order, please call Arapahoe County's Child Support Enforcement Division at 303-752-8900 or visit www.co.arapahoe.co.us.
For more information about employment assistance services available at no-cost to any job-seeker or business, please call the Arapahoe/Douglas Works! Workforce Center at 303-636-1160 or visit www.adworks.org.