Child Support’s Day of Reconciliation Offers Pathway to Resolving Bench Warrants without Arrest in Baltimore City

For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2017

Contact:Kari Nye
(410) 767-8592

Child Support’s Day of Reconciliation Offers Pathway to Resolving Bench Warrants without Arrest in Baltimore City
Operation Reconciliation will also connect parents to a job-training program that facilitates employment, financial independence, and the ability to make consistent child support payments

Baltimore-On Aug. 12, Maryland’s Department of Human Services (DHS), and several of its partners, will extend a legal reconciliation opportunity to 630 parents with outstanding bench warrants for child support noncompliance in Baltimore City. Operation Reconciliation, an initiative led by DHS, the Baltimore City Office of Child Support Services, Office of the Baltimore City Sheriff, and the Baltimore City Circuit Court, has already resolved 159 outstanding warrants prior to the Saturday initiative. The day of the initiative, parents will also have the opportunity onsite to enroll in a job-driven pilot program known as STEP Up (Supporting, Training, and Employing Parents).

STEP Up, whose passage at the legislative level in 2016 was led by Delegate Samuel Rosenberg, District 41, offers free job-training and support services to help noncustodial parents in Baltimore City jumpstart their careers in industries that include welding, bioinformatics, and hospitality. The program represents a unique opportunity to obtain job-training and step onto a path toward financial independence and forgiveness of child support arrears owed to the State of Maryland. As of the end of July, the program has served 239 participants, of which 124 are currently employed.

“We find that when parents aren’t paying child support, it’s not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t,” said DHS Secretary Lourdes Padilla. “It’s on us to provide the opportunities that parents need. This joint effort is about facilitating the tools for parents to be successful so they can support themselves and support their families.”

Staff from the entities leading Operation Reconciliation coordinated the event to ensure that all parents will receive the legal and support services that they are seeking. In addition to lifting relevant bench warrants and assigning new hearing dates, Operation Reconciliation will also offer optional paternity testing and referrals to supportive services such as substance abuse treatment, GED/educational programs, and parenting skills courses. Editor’s note: DHS subject matter expert Tywanna Taylor will be onsite to answer questions. She can be reached at (443) 835-5689 or tywanna.taylor@maryland.gov.

Filed in: DHS News, In the Press

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