New Employment Program Shows Promising Results in Cuyahoga County

June 12, 2020
Photo of Help Wanted sign with text Families Forward superimposed on top

The Families Forward Demonstration is a 4-year employment project testing strategies to build skills and provide employment services to noncustodial parents in selected areas in four states: Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Washington. Preliminary data in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, shows promising results. To date, 127 clients have enrolled in the program; 37 clients have completed the credentialed occupational skills training; and 20 of those clients are working in a new career!

Mark, one of the first to enroll in this program, completed his credentialed occupational skills training for a commercial driver’s license in July 2019. Within six weeks of completing his training, he got a job with the city as a snow removal operator. When Mark enrolled in the Families Forward Demonstration program, he had been struggling to meet his child support obligations, often making payments of less than 10% of his obligation. Within just three months of employment, Mark’s payments increased to over 90% of his obligation. He has maintained these payments for the last 7 months, even through the COVID-19 crisis. "I'm doing this for them, as well as myself. Because the better I am, the better I can be for them," Mark said, speaking about his children. Mark was featured in the News 5 Cleveland article Free Job training Offered to Parents to Help Pay Child Support in Cuyahoga County Visit disclaimer page .

Going from enrollment to the realization of consistent child support payments may take up to 6 months based on a variety of factors, including the length of the occupational skills training program. Families Forward staff are closely monitoring the progress of clients enrolled in the program. Mark’s success is very promising for the other clients enrolled in the program and for their families. For more information, contact ocse.dpi@acf.hhs.gov.