Comments Off on Child Support’s Day of Reconciliation Offered a Path to Resolve Nonsupport Bench Warrants without Arrest

Child Support’s Day of Reconciliation Offered a Path to Resolve Nonsupport Bench Warrants without Arrest

Operation Reconciliation extended to more than 400 individuals; initiative reflects effort to reconcile needs of custodial parents with challenges of noncustodial parents

Contact: Kari Nye
kari.nye@maryland.gov
(410) 767-8592

Baltimore—A creative reconciliation opportunity was made available on Aug. 20 to more than 400 Baltimore City parents with outstanding bench warrants for nonappearance at a child support establishment hearing. Maryland’s Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA), in cooperation with the Baltimore City Office of Child Support Services (BCCSS), Office of the Baltimore City Sheriff, Baltimore City Circuit Court, and job placement partners, established Operation Reconciliation to offer eligible noncustodial parents a path toward resolving nonsupport payment warrants, without arrest. BCCSS identified and reached out to 363 noncustodial parents with warrant records and to 43 custodial parents with warrant records.

Secretary of the Department of Human Resources Sam Malhotra said, “Children are at the heart of this initiative. Reconciling the needs of custodial parents with addressing the challenges of noncustodial parents opens to the door to thriving families and stronger communities.”

Thirty-seven parents embraced the opportunity granted by Operation Reconciliation, and the overall initiative effort resulted in the resolution of more than 100 outstanding establishment warrants. After checking in with the Office of the Sheriff, parents met with representatives of the Circuit Court, who lifted the relevant bench warrants and provided individuals with new hearing dates. Those who had paternity questions were able to elect for genetic testing, and BCCSS case managers met with each interested individual to discuss questions they had about their cases. In addition, case managers and Earn Benefits screeners offered assessments and referrals for public services to assist parents with employment, health, or day-to-day living expenses. Finally, representatives from One Baltimore For Jobs and the Food Supplement Employment and Training program met with each interested person to discuss the job-readiness, job placement, and unique fatherhood services that are available to them. Operation Reconciliation allowed parents to depart the courthouse without the stress and anxiety of an open bench warrant, and to affirm a pathway forward.

DHR — the Maryland Department of Human Resources — is the state’s primary social service provider, serving more than one million people annually. Through its 24 local departments of social services, DHR aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Additional information may be found at www.dhr.state.md.us, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Filed in: Baltimore City, DHS News, Home Page Highlight, In this County, Local News

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