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Maryland Program Offers Parenting Help for Non-Custodial Dads

It isn't always easy for Maryland fathers to support their children. The recent recession has only made this problem worse; with a lot of the good jobs gone, many dads have found it difficult to find work that pays enough to meet child support obligations. Many fathers wind up in arrears, and some are even sentenced to jail as a result of their failure to pay.

Officials in Maryland are trying to put an end to this problem, and a program in Talbot County seems to be working particularly well.

The initiative is called the "Young Fathers Program," but the name might be misleading. Participation isn't limited to just young men. In fact, many of the participants are middle-age or older.

The purpose of the Young Father's Program is to help Maryland dads get access to the resources and services they need in order to be able to pay child support and have a healthy relationship with their kids. For example, the program provides job placement assistance and parenting classes. It will also help participants make essential - but unaffordable - purchases, such as a pair of new eyeglasses.

Participation in the program can be a boon to fathers who want a relationship with their children, but who are so bogged down in financial problems or life issues that they don't know where to start. Sometimes, a little support is all it takes to get back on track.

Similar programs are also available in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Montgomery County. Fathers who are interested in participating should contact their county department of social services.

Source: Star Democrat, "Young Father's Program helps dads support their children," June 15, 2012.

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