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Georgia Program Seeks to Help Dads with Child Support

Georgia wants non-custodial parents - typically fathers - who are court ordered to pay child support to do just that. To increase the likelihood, it has instituted the Georgia Fatherhood Program ("GFP"), an initiative operating under the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Child Support Services.

The program is the largest of its kind in the United States. It works only with non-custodial parents who are under judicial order to make child support payments and are either not doing so or are having difficulty in staying timely.

Payment has become increasingly hard for many dads, owing to the ongoing recession. Many Georgia fathers have either lost jobs or can't find one. Some of them have drug or alcohol problems, lack driver's licenses or don't have high school diplomas. Others have mental health issues. Still others have a criminal record, which measurably increases the difficulty of finding employment and paying support.

GFP helps fathers prepare for and find work. One example of this is the upcoming career fair the organization is holding on August 17 in Carrollton, in which participants will receive resume assistance and help applying for jobs. The fair is a regular occurrence throughout Georgia. "We try to hit different areas of the state every month," says GFP program director David Harris. "The need is there," he adds. "We want people to become self-sufficient."

The fair is just a small component of the program. Participants in GFP are typically in the program for several months. While involved, they must work at least 20 hours a week and pay child support.

Related Resource: www.times-georgian.com "Fatherhood program to host job fair" August 13, 2010

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