An organization known as the Non-Custodial Parent Choices Program is helping El Paso residents make their back child support payments. The program, funded by the state, has already helped recover child support payments totaling in the thousands of dollars. NCP Choices is operated through the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

The strategy that the organization uses involves finding employment for low-income noncustodial parents, rather than sending the parents to jail for not paying. The program was founded in 2005, and it has located jobs for over 1,300 participants in the El Paso area. Parents are considered to be graduates of the program after working in a new position for six months. El Paso courts have now received child support payments totaling $8.6 million since 2005.

According to a firm known as Workforce Solutions, 71 percent of program participants in El Paso are hired permanently after completing the program. The CEO for Workforce Solutions claims that employers are taking note of the impact of the program and are therefore becoming more confident in hiring the workers.

One program participant is a mother of five that has back child support payments of over $4,000. The debt nearly landed her in jail, which the woman described as “shocking.” With the help of the NCP Choices program, she has gone from being unemployed to having full-time employment that allows her to pay down her child support. The woman stated that the most rewarding aspect of the program is being able to continue visiting her children.

For many Texas residents, making child support payments can be difficult due to tough economic times. However, if a non-custodial parent is able to pay but simply refuses to, the custodial parent might wish to seek help in court. Either way, custodial parents should try doing whatever is needed to ensure that they can financially meet their children’s needs.

Source: KFOX14, “State program recovers $8.6 million in child support in El Paso” Crystal Price, Jan. 28, 2014