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Families Forward: Introducing a New Program for Parents Who Owe Child Support

by Rochelle Beard , Marketing & Communications Program Officer, Office of Child Support Services
Families Forward is a new job training program offered by the Cuyahoga County Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) for parents who owe child support in Cuyahoga County. The Families Forward Demonstration is studying strategies that can improve the earning capacity, skill attainment and financial literacy of parents responsible for paying child support who have struggled to meet their financial obligations.

blue arrow with orange words that say Families ForwardOhio is one of only four states selected to participate in the program which is sponsored through the Federal Office of Child Support, MDRC, the Ohio Office of Child Support, and OCSS in partnership with Towards Employment. Families Forward offers free job training and wraparound support as part of a national study that seeks to find ways to help improve the lives of parents a father and son smilingand children. Support includes:

  • Portfolio development
  • Job readiness and job search skills development
  • Help with navigating child support
  • Career coaching and mentoring
  • Financial counseling

Families Forward offers four career tracks in the program. No prior experience is needed for the trainings. Families Forward links participants to experts with connections to good jobs. The career tracks include:

  • Heavy tractor/truck driving (commercial driver's license certification)
  • IT Support (Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) or Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications)
  • Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) Machinist
  • Customer Service

OCSS is committed to helping participants successfully complete the program. Tiffany Dobbins-Brazelton, Director for the Cuyahoga County Office of Child Support Services, notes that “Families Forward has the potential to enhance career development and economic stability for families and residents of Cuyahoga County. We are pleased to help parents access opportunities for growth and development that positively impacts their family.”

Visit http://ffcuyahoga.mdrc.org/ or call 216-698-3505 or 216-698-2363 to learn more about Families Forward.

In addition to managing the many facets of collecting and distributing child support payments, The Cuyahoga County Office of Child Support Services (OCSS):

  • Connects people with the opportunity to live their best lives.
  • Helps parents provide support for their families even if they do not live in the same house.
  • Partners with parents to create a family-centered child support program that promotes on-time and consistent support.

Visit https://cjfs.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/child-support-services.aspx to learn more about the Office of Child Support Services.