WASHINGTON — For the next month, parents in D.C. who are behind on their child-support payments can get some help getting back on track.
D.C.’s child-support amnesty program runs Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, the Office of the Attorney General announced.
If parents make a “good-faith effort” to pay down some of their debt, D.C. child support officials will help them get back revoked driver’s licenses and cancel arrest warrants stemming from failing to pay child support. Some parents may also qualify for dollar-for-dollar matching grants to help them pay down their debt.
About 26,000 D.C. parents currently owe back child support, according to Marissa Geller with the D.C. attorney general’s office. About 8,000 of them qualify for the grants.
Case managers with D.C.’s Child Support Services Division will work with parents to make plans for payments. The office is at 441 Fourth St. NW, Suite 550 and is open Monday through Friday 8:45 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
In addition, the Child Support Services Division will conduct free paternity testing, hand out free school supplies and host a “Fatherhood Career Fair” in August.
Paternity testing, which typically costs between $130 and $200, is often required for a child support order. Sometimes it’s necessary for a father to add his child to his health insurance. D.C. child support’s office is offering free paternity testing through the month of August. Parents who undergo the testing will also receive a $25 gift card.
The testing is offered at the child support offices Monday through Friday between 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
Free school supplies, including free backpacks, are being offered Aug. 27 through Aug. 31.
On Aug. 31, the office will offer a “fatherhood career fair” with parents who have active child-support cases. The career fair will feature more than 30 area employers. Participants will also have access to free health screenings and free mobile phones if they qualify.
This year’s child support amnesty program will run two weeks longer than it did last year. In 2017, the program collected more than $81,000 in back child support.