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Parents Behind On Child Support To Get Job Counseling

http://66.225.205.104/JR20110331.mp3

More than one third of child support cases in Mecklenburg County are behind on payments and often employment is the problem: noncustodial parents are either out of work, or not making enough money to keep up with child support. Today, Mecklenburg County Child Support Enforcement is trying a new approach to get payments back on track. Mecklenburg County's Child Support Enforcement office is a debt collector on behalf of children of divorce. More than 14,000 cases are delinquent. When noncustodial parents tell Child Support Enforcement they can't make payments because they lost a job, "Tell it to the judge," is the standard response. "Child Support hasn't been in a position to do a lot of counseling and that's one of our initiatives as well," says Child Support Enforcement social service manager Tana Calloway. "We do enforce the order - we call the noncustodial parents and talk to them about their payments. But what else can we do?" Calloway has concluded there is something more Child Support Enforcement can do for parents who are out of work. Thursday morning an RV full of computers and career counselors will be parked outside the Child Support Enforcement office. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Career Cruiser travels around the community offering internet access and resume tips for job seekers, but coming to Child Support Enforcement is a first. Calloway hopes to make it a monthly thing.