ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Department of Human Services wants families to know child support services encompass more than collecting money from a non-custodial parent.
Nancy Flynn, Child Support Supervisor with Monroe County’s Child Support Enforcement Unit, and Michelle Henry-Walker, Financial Services Coordinator with the County Child Support Enforcement Unit, discussed child support services Wednesday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“We’re really trying to get out the message that we’re here to provide a service – child support services – and that’s to parents, it’s to mothers, to fathers and most of all to children,” said Henry-Walker.
Flynn added, “We establish paternity very often for children giving them to parents who are financially responsible for the child which is really invaluable.”
Of the 47,000 cases in Monroe County, Flynn said paternity has been established in 29,000 of them. When it comes to child support payments, court orders can be altered and that’s something custodial and non-custodial parents should understand. “If you make an application to the court by filing a petition because your circumstances have changed – you’re no longer employed, you’re incarcerated – you can absolutely file a petition in court and testify from wherever you are,” she noted. “They have telephonic testimony so you don’t actually have to appear.”
Henry-Walker said child support services also include medical and daycare assistance. Increasing that awareness is a focal point during the month of August. “There are a couple of different ways that people come into our offices, one is through the Department of Human Services but we also provide services to private clients, so we handle both of them,” she said. “And so what we are doing is we are engaging the community. We are going to community places so that we can tell people we are here to support children. If you’re a non-custodial parent, we want you to have information as far as what you can do to support your child – get involved in that. We want the custodial parent to know what’s available to them. The children should know who their father is. They should have the support laid for them so that the connections can be made so that the families can be whole.”
The Monroe County Child Support office is located at 33 N. Fitzhugh St. in Rochester. Call 1-888-208-4485 for assistance.
Click here for the NYS Child Support Services website.
Click here for the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.