New pilot program gives deadbeat parents a second chance

New pilot program gives deadbeat parents a second chance
Published: Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:29 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2014 at 1:15 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A new state pilot program is giving deadbeat parents a second chance to pay up and avoid going to jail. It's called 'Operation Work' and is run by the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

"These people are people who may have experienced some type of job loss. These are people who may have never paid child support," Latosha Jenkins-Fludd of DSS said.

Jenkins-Fludd says the program is open to any parent in Charleston County who has an ongoing child support case and is not currently in jail.

It includes tutoring for a GED, help with opening a savings account, a one week job readiness boot camp and even forgiveness of some of the child support owed, up to $5,250.

"I think if they have someone in your corner who supports them, who believes in them and is willing to provide some assistance, they may be successful in meeting those goals," Jenkins-Fludd said.

Anyone who fails to complete 'Operation Work' may wind up behind bars. So far 49 parents are enrolled.

Jenkins-Fludd says the goal is to have 1,500 parents in the program.

Charleston County is one of only three counties in the state participating. The two others are Horry and Greenville.

For more information call Jenkins-Fludd at (843) 953-9246.

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