Colorado Child Support Services receives $1 million grant

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DENVER (Sept. 9, 2020) - The Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) was recently awarded a nearly $1 million federal grant to develop programs to educate teens and young adults about parenthood. This grant will help ensure that young people have access to important information that will increase their knowledge of education and employment resources, healthy relationships, and the importance of family planning methods that are effective as well as accessible.

"Our teens and young adults today are the next generation of parents and we want to give them the opportunity to plan for the future of parenthood successfully," said Larry Desbien, director of DCSS. "We are excited that this grant will enable us to reach that next generation of parents and will rely on their support to assist with the production of the marketing materials."

The money from the grant will be used to develop nine programs that educate parents and young adults about the financial, legal and emotional responsibilities of parenthood. Young adults will be recruited regionally to assist with the production of marketing materials, short videos and webcasts, utilizing social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. DCSS will work with foster care transition services, juvenile justice agencies, youth job development programs, teen pregnancy prevention programs, community colleges and public schools to incorporate child support and responsible parenting education into youth-centered systems. This is a three-year grant and these programs are estimated to be complete by the end of the grant period.

"Our purpose is to make sure that children receive regular financial support from both parents," said Office of Economic Security director Ki'ai Powell. "This is an investment in building parenting and financial skills to help children thrive."

During this grant, DCSS will partner with the Colorado Sexual Health Initiative, the Division of Youth Services, the Division of Child Welfare, as well as youth advisory boards, such as the Metro Youth Alliance and the Colorado Youth Leadership Council.

The Colorado Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) works with parents and caretakers to make sure all Colorado kids get the financial support they need to thrive. DCSS offers different types of services to meet the needs of families and is committed to providing a family-centered service delivery model that both promotes and addresses barriers to consistent child support payments. Through a two-generation service model, DCSS aligns and coordinates child support services to meet the needs of all family members. More information can be found here.

$8.7 million was awarded to eight different child support agencies across the country by the Office of Child Support Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. All grantees will participate in the Charting a Course for Responsible Parenting and Economic Mobility Demonstration over a three-year period. The first year will be for planning and years two and three will be for implementation and evaluation.

Media contact:
Madlynn Ruble, Deputy Director of Communications