CDHS Launches Colorado Parent Employment Project in Prowers County

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(Denver) – The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has just launched the Colorado Parent Employment Project (CO-PEP) in five Colorado Counties: Arapahoe, Boulder, El Paso, Jefferson, and Prowers.  

The intent of the project is to reach out to parents who are able to work, but are not able to pay child support because they are unemployed or underemployed.  

“We want to demonstrate several things through this project,” said Julie Kerksick, director, CDHS Office of Economic Security. “We are testing to determine if by helping non-custodial parents with services, child support payments will increase, dependence on public assistance will decrease, and parents will become more active and involved in positive ways with their children.”  

CO-PEP will provide services for three years and will serve 1,500 parents. Colorado was one of eight states to be awarded funding for the project. The Federal Office of Child Support also awarded grants totaling $20 million to California, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Examples of the assistance provided through CO-PEP include parenting classes, intensive work assistance such as job skills training, and modification of child support orders, if needed.  

CDHS will evaluate CO-PEP by tracking employment rates, amounts of child support and arrears paid, and cost savings from decreased use of public assistance by families, among other evaluation measures.  Additional information is available through the Prowers County Department of Social Services.  Contact Anthony LaTour, Prowers County Child Social Services at 719-336-7486 – Ext 182.

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