The Atlantic Judicial Circuit kicked off their new Parental Accountability Court program Tuesday at the Liberty County Justice Center. The PAC program looks to offer an alternative to incarceration and help chronic non-payers of child support make regular payments.
“Traditional courts are limited in their ability to fashion a solution to the problem of child support arrearages and frequently, courts must resort to incarceration to address the problem,” Judge Glen A. Cheney said. “However, time has shown that incarceration oftentimes is not the solution and incarceration only causes a parent to fall further behind on his or her obligation and the taxpayer ends up footing the bill.”
The joint effort between the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Child Support Services and Superior Court Judges looks to utilize community resources to help struggling parents meet their support obligations.
PAC will assist in driver’s license reinstatement, local employment opportunities, GED training and other types of assistance for parents who are facing contempt action for non-payment of child support and/or having difficulty paying for child support obligation due to unemployment or underemployment.
“Parental accountability courts provide an innovative solution to the problem and address the underlying issues in child support cases by providing participants with the means to obtain and keep gainful employment,” Cheney said. “I look forward to working with the members of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit Parental Accountability support staff to help the Court’s participants obtain the necessary tools to provide for their children.”
To graduate the 12-18 month program, participants must meet their child support obligations for a minimum of six consecutive months. Graduates may be eligible to receive assistance with legitimation, modification of your child support obligation, and/or have a reduction of money owed.
“This program is an improvement but also gives opportunities for child support with education,” first PAC program Don M. Drake Jr. said. “I’m thankful for Ms. Taylor who has been a big help!”
For additional information about the PAC program, contact Parental Accountability Court Coordinator Shundrekia Taylor at email@example.com or visit www.dcss.dhs.georgia.gov.