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Colorado Works families can now receive child support

posted Apr 5, 2017, 8:51 AM by Nicole Grabowski - CDHS   [ updated Apr 5, 2017, 8:54 AM ]
DENVER (April 5, 2017) — With the implementation of Senate Bill 15-012 this month, kids in families receiving Colorado Works can now also benefit from full child support payments. 

Research indicates that parents who pay child support are more likely to visit their children and influence how they are raised. Plus, parents are more likely to pay child support on time, because they see that the money goes directly toward their child’s needs.

“When children can get financial support from both parents, everyone benefits,” said Reggie Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). “Children are less likely to live in poverty, parents who live with their children become more self-sufficient, and non-custodial parents form stronger relationships with their children. Even if the child support payment is modest, it helps.”

Colorado Works provides families with temporary cash assistance and helps connect them with employment, education and training so they can become self-sufficient. The program is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) at the federal level. The new policy will lead to an estimated $4.2 million in child support each year directed to more than 7,000 Colorado families who receive Colorado Works.

Colorado is the only state in the country to give the full amount of current child support directly to households that receive TANF benefits with no reduction in cash assistance. Previously, child support payments made to households that received Colorado Works were used by the state and federal governments for program costs. Colorado law prohibited Colorado Works households from receiving child support payments.

Twenty-six states allow some portion of child support to be paid directly to the parent with whom the child lives (i.e. custodial parent).

“We are excited that this policy will also help parents work together to support their children,” said Phyllis Albritton, director of the Office of Economic Security in CDHS. “Evidence shows that children who have relationships with both of their parents are more likely to thrive.”

Colorado families who receive Colorado Works benefits and have an established child support order will automatically receive child support payments if the parent who pays child support makes the payment on time, and Child Support Services has updated information on how the custodial parent would like to receive a payment (check, debit or direct deposit). Call the Family Support Registry today at 800.374.6558 or email to ensure your information is correct.

If a parent is currently making child support payments, this change will happen automatically. If a parent would like to start making payments, he or she can contact the Family Support Registry. 

CDHS has set up a hotline, 303.866.5211, for questions about the new policy. Questions can also be emailed to
Nicole Grabowski - CDHS,
Apr 5, 2017, 8:51 AM