Help With Child Support

* Elizabeth Shogren’s article about Parents’ Fair Share (April 17) is a good piece of reporting about a very worthwhile project aimed at tackling one part of the enormous problem of child support enforcement. Unfortunately, the account lacked one critical piece of information of value to your local readers: Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that the program is operating in Los Angeles County.

On April 11, Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, together with County Board of Supervisors Chair Yvonne Burke and representatives of participating state and local agencies, announced the inauguration of the 10th Parents’ Fair Share demonstration site in Los Angeles. This is important in that it is the first such effort to be undertaken in the heart of a major urban area. More than that, Parents’ Fair Share offers hope not only to the non-custodial parents it is designed to serve directly but also to their families on welfare, who will benefit economically from the program’s success.

The district attorney worked hard to bring Parents’ Fair Share to Los Angeles for one simple reason: Child support enforcement is one of his highest priorities. The number of cases handled by the Bureau of Family Support will soon number 600,000 and continues to grow. The direct and immediate effects of this crisis for the children who are left impoverished by it is cause enough for concern; the long-term social and economic implications for society in general are staggering.

Dist. Atty. Garcetti is committed to tackling the problem through a combination of efforts designed not just to collect support more efficiently and effectively but to tackle the root causes of the problem. Parents’ Fair Share is a modern example of the old aphorism, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.” In this case, by giving non-custodial parents a chance at job training and placement, we’re helping them to feed their families as well.



Bureau of Family Support Operations

L.A. County District Attorney’s Office