Parents to Work aimed to increase noncustodial parents’ self-sufficiency and ability to pay court-ordered child support by increasing the coordination between child support and workforce staff and services to address barriers to employment.
Child support and workforce staff were co-located and communicated regularly to quickly connect noncustodial parents to employment services and to modify child support orders. These staff also worked closely with the court system to require noncustodial parents to participate in Parents to Work, review participation, and impose incentives and sanctions when appropriate.
After a parent was referred to Parents to Work—sometimes through a court order—then workforce staff assessed the parent’s employment barriers and provided appropriate employment supports. The employment supports could include individual employment plans, job-preparedness training, resume preparation, job referrals, and on-the-job training. Parents could also receive housing assistance, transportation assistance, and GED preparation and testing.
In order to participate, individuals had to be either underemployed, employed part time, employed seasonally, or employed at less than a living wage; not a full-time student; not currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; without physical or mental disabilities that would affect employment; and free from substance use disorders that would hinder employment. Parents to Work was implemented in Arapahoe County, CO.