The ACDJFS Child Support Enforcement Agency is participating in a statewide initiative to recognize August as Child Support Awareness Month. Athens County’s theme is “Child Support: It’s more than just money.” The agency has developed public service announcements, fliers and other educational materials to raise awareness throughout the county and encourage parents in any situation to take a more active role in their children’s lives.
“Both custodial and non-custodial parents should be involved in the actual parenting of their children as much as possible,” CSEA Director Randy Galbraith said. “Of course kids need food on the table and clothes on their backs, but they also need the confidence and security that comes with knowing both parents love them. We can’t enforce that kind of child support, but we hope that raising awareness this month will help parents see how they can be a bigger part of their children’s lives, no matter what the circumstances.”
The Athens County Child Support Enforcement Agency was also recently recognized for increasing collections on current child support cases for FY05-06 at the State Child Support Training Conference on July 30 in Columbus.
Athens County CSEA Assistant Program Administrator Susan Douglas accepted the award from the State Office of Child Support on behalf of Athens County CSEA staff, whose efforts brought about the highest percentage improvement for collections on current support among counties with similar caseloads in the state.
During FY05-06, the Athens County CSEA increased collections from 61.76 percent to 63.12 percent, collecting more than $4.4 million in FFY2006. The agency maintains approximated 4,500 cases each year.
In addition to collecting child support payments, the CSEA assists Athens County residents in locating non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, and establishing and enforcing child support orders.