The results are in for Parental Accountability Courts in Georgia

Chart from PAC evaluation reportThese are exciting times for Georgia’s Parental Accountability Courts (PAC).  The Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), joined the ranks of Georgia’s accountability courts in 2009, with the support of the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).  These are civil courts with the goal of addressing the underlying issues facing noncustodial parents (NCPs) who are chronically delinquent in their payment of court ordered child support and whose case is active with the Division of Child Support Services.

The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts and the Child Support Commission is pleased to make available the Parental Accountability Court Evaluation (for full report click here) as prepared by the Research Division of the JC/AOC.  Five courts were reviewed and reflect successful outcomes for each court and most especially for the participants.  The report incorporates data received through the PAC Database that is input by the PAC coordinators, along with child support payment information obtained from the DCSS.  The first thing that stands out is that any exposure to the PAC reflects increases in the payment of child support.  Even where the NCP was terminated from the program prior to graduation, those participants paid 29% more child support both during and after their involvement with the PAC.  The best statistic, however, is the amount that child support payments increase when the NCP does participate – a 79% increase.  The participants who received referred services during their time in the program increased their payments at a higher rate (84%) than those who did not receive services (67%), but these are both significant increase amounts.  It is important to note that many of the judges who preside over PAC also preside over Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veterans Treatment Court, DUI Court, and Family Treatment Court divisions.

 by Elaine Johnson, Executive Program Manager, Georgia Commission on Child Support


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Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

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