WASHINGTON, D. C. – The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is marking Child Support Awareness Month 2017 by holding an amnesty period from August 21 to September 8 to help parents who have fallen behind on payments get back on track, distributing school supplies to families on August 18, and highlighting available resources designed to give parents the tools they need to support their children.
“One of our most important jobs is to ensure that children in the District get the support they need to thrive,” said Attorney General Karl A. Racine. “We believe that child support services must be about more than just payments and penalties. Rather, it must be about ensuring that parents and children both succeed. I’m excited that our office is rolling out more resources that will give parents the tools and opportunities they need to provide for their children.”
“Our team is committed to providing a great customer experience—and respectful and effective customer service—to all mothers and fathers,” said Director of Child Support Services Benidia Rice. “We hope parents will engage with us and take advantage of all we have to offer during Child Support Awareness Month.”
Child Support Amnesty August 21 - September 8, 2017
OAG’s Child Support Services Division (CSSD) is launching an Amnesty program for parents who have fallen behind in their child-support payments to help them get back on track.
CSSD experts will work collaboratively with parents who volunteer to be part of the program to help them better manage their obligations. If non-custodial parents make good-faith efforts to make payments on outstanding child support debt during this period, they may be eligible for certain benefits, which include:
- Letters confirming child support compliance that could help quash an arrest warrant or return a revoked license related to failure to pay;
- Dollar-for-dollar matching grants for back payments that non-custodial parents owe to the District under the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program.
The amnesty program will run from August 21 through September 8, 2017. Parents who wish to participate can visit the CSSD office at 441 4th Street NW, Suite 550 North from 8:45 a.m. -3:45 p.m. There, they can work with case managers to make payments on their cases and develop plans for getting on the right track to meeting their obligations.
“Most of our parents make child support payments on a consistent basis,” said CSSD Director Benidia Rice. “But we know that some parents fall behind in payments – sometimes due to difficult circumstances – and we want to give them the opportunity to get back on track.”
Workforce Development Resources
On August 7, two new workforce-development specialists joined CSSD’s team to assist non-custodial parents in finding work so that they can support their children. The specialists can connect parents who have difficulty paying their obligations due to unemployment or underemployment with resources to help them improve their financial situation.
“Many parents want to support their children, but don’t have a job that enables them to do that,” said Attorney General Racine. “Our new workforce developers have experience working with all kinds of job applicants, including returning citizens, and will help these parents develop job skills and find work so they can provide financial support to their children.”
For additional information, contact First Response Unit Manager Angelisa Young at (202) 724-2131.
Books from Birth, Bookbag Giveaway, and Genetic Testing
CSSD is also marking Child Support Awareness Month through three other activities designed to help children and families:
- Books From Birth: Staff will register families with children under the age of five to receive a free book every month from the District of Columbia Public Library Books From Birth Program.
- Backpack Giveaway: Start the school year off right! Backpacks with school supplies will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis on August 18 at the CSSD Offices (441 4th Street NW, Suite 550 South). Up to two (2) backpacks will be distributed to each family with an active child support case and school-aged children while supplies last.
- Genetic Testing: Establishing parentage is important for both the child and the father and it must be done before a child support order can be established. Individuals who voluntarily participate in the free genetic testing will each receive a $25 gift card. This free service is only offered to those who live in the District and have not already established paternity for their child or children. Visit the Child Support Mobile Unit (at the corner of 4th and E St. NW) or the Child Support Office (441 4th St. NW) for services.
OAG Child Support Services
CSSD works to establish paternity and child support orders and helps parents find jobs that allow them to be the financial backbone of their families. Last year the OAG collected $56,234,538 in child support and established parentage for 5,623 children.
OAG is also working to make child support services more efficient and easier to access:
- Online Case Look Up is our 24/7 Web network where parents can check the balances they owe, update their employer information, or update their personal contact information.
- Our Customer Care Center is available Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. – until 4:45 p.m. Care Center staff can speak with parents about their case. The phone number is 202-442-9900.
Please contact OAG’s Child Support Customer Care center at 202-442-9900 if:
- You need assistance to ensure that you don’t fall behind on payments;
- You change employers;
- You relocate;
- You can provide us with a cell phone number or e-mail address at which to reach you.
For more information, visit CSSD’s website at http://cssd.dc.gov/ or call 202-442-9900.