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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Courts-WorkOne program has positive effect, report says

Allen Circuit Court issued this news release today:

A program initiated by the Allen Circuit Court, working in collaboration with the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and WorkOne of Northeast Indiana, is making a positive impact. An initial report shows a marked increase in employment and weekly child support payments by those participating in the program.

The report shows 43% of the participants participating in the program at least 6 months gained employment following a referral to WorkOne. Additionally, the average weekly support payment paid by the participants increased 89% to an average of $27.81 per week while in the year preceding the referral, the participant’s average weekly support payment was just $12.42 per week. “This is positive news for parents and especially for children,” states Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards, whose office refers cases to the Title-IV-D Child Support Program for establishment and enforcement of child support.

Circuit Court Magistrate Andrea R. Trevino, the judicial officer responsible for oversight of the program, states, “The numbers are very encouraging, particularly for those who have participated in the program at least six months.” The data shows that employment and support payments not only increase after an initial referral to WorkOne, but continues to increase with continued participation. “Another benefit we are seeing is that participants are earning their GEDs when they might not have even pursued their education,” adds Trevino, “this can have a long-lasting effect on the parent’s ability to find work and pay support in the future.”

The program, started last November, has a WorkOne representative stationed next door to the courtroom and works with parents whom Trevino believes would benefit from WorkOne services; primarily those who cite unemployment as the reason for non-payment of support. The report shows a total of 134 participants have been referred to WorkOne as of mid-June, 2014. Of those referred, 60% of participants attended one or more of the assigned workshops, 26% were referred to Anthis Career Center for GED classes, and 17% were referred to Vocational Rehabilitation services in addition to the assigned workshops.

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