New Program is Helping Parents get a Fresh Start
Cuyahoga County parents with outstanding warrants due to back child support are being offered a "get out of jail" option.
The Child Support Warrant Recall Program will take place each Friday at the Juvenile Justice Center. On the first day, Friday, January 8, 2016, 78 people came in to get a fresh start. And more than $1,000 was collected in child support.
Many people, mostly dads, went before Cuyahoga County Magistrate Tonya Jones including Willie McBride. He has a bench warrant out on him for missing a court date related to his child support. He is thousands of dollars in arrears.
McBride's warrant is fairly new but many have warrants years old.
"By me not working, for real, it is hard to make the payments they want," McBride told the Judge Jones.
The goal of the Child Support Warrant Recall Program is to take the pressure off the nearly 3,000 parents who have bench warrants by getting them in front of a judge so they resolved their child support issues without fear of getting arrested. The program offers other resources as well.
"The Fatherhood Initiative is here which will give information toward employment," said Judge Denise Rini. "We have information on mediation. Meaning if you don't have a custody order you can get an application to determine custody. So you can get rights to your child."
Judge Denise Rini says to start the process a parent must pay a minimum of $50, that goes directly toward the child support obligation. The goal of the program is to help children get finical support and a stronger relationship with their parents.
The Warrant Recall Program will take place each Friday at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center located at 9300 Quincy Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106. To verify an outstanding warrant, call 216-443-8400 and press 4.