The Cook County Board of Commissioners has designated November as Child Support Awareness Month, part of an educational campaign to highlight the free services available to families seeking child support.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the campaign’s goal is to encourage custodial parents to use the no-cost IV-D Child Support Services Program offered through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
The federal IV-D program works to collect child support on behalf of custodial parents through the coordinated efforts of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Office of the Chief Judge and the State of Illinois. The program is available to all custodial parents or guardians—not just those who receive public assistance. Everyone is eligible, regardless of income. No one is denied services
“Sixty percent of child support cases in Illinois are in Cook County,” President Preckwinkle said. “Parents rely on child support to maintain a household and buy food and other necessities for their kids. The purpose of our campaign is to create awareness and let parents know they can obtain child support payments through the IV-D program.”
This valuable service also is available to non-custodial parents, including veterans, who have experienced a job loss, are under-employed or sick, and wish to apply for a payment modification.
“Seeking a modification is more desirable than becoming delinquent on payments or abandoning the family as a reaction to falling behind on child support,” Preckwinkle said. “Non-custodial parents have options as well. The goal is to keep parents in the lives of their children. Both custodial and non-custodial parents can turn to this free service to work out their child support issues. This is truly a parent support service.”
The program can be used to obtain health coverage for children through the non-custodial parent’s insurance. In addition, the service can locate an absent parent through the State and Federal Parent Locater Service. The program also works to resolve payment modification issues with veterans designated as homeless.
As part of the campaign, flyers and posters promoting the IV-D program were distributed to county offices and law libraries, the courts, commissioners’ offices and Veterans Affairs hospitals.
For more information about the IV-D child support program, call 1-800-447-4278, access the website at www.childsupportillinois.com, or visit the Child Support Regional Office at 32 W. Randolph in Chicago. A parent may also print and fill out an application form at www.childsupportillinois.com/customers/apply.html. The signed and completed application can then be mailed or hand-delivered to the Child Support Regional Office, located at 32 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL 60601.