Judge Kimberly Shaw will be starting a Child Support Court in Boone County, with the first docket being heard on April 11, 2019. “This has been something I’ve wanted to start for some time now,” said Judge Shaw. “By filing these cases as civil, working with parents to help them with job skills, parenting skills, life skills and needs such as getting a driver’s license back; this, to me, approaches back owed child support in a way that’s better for the children and our community.”
This docket is in collaboration with Assistant Prosecutor Steve Gunn, Charles Stephenson of Powerhouse Community Development Corporation, and Damian Dean of United Community Builders. The goal of this court is to get non-custodial parents to start paying child support and working on arrearages (back owed child support), as well as working on their relationship with their children.
Participants in the court will be in the Fathers Committed to Families program, which is also available for mothers. Participants will have a goal 90 days from enrollment to get a full or part-time job. Other services such as substance abuse groups/support, recovery support, parent education, anger management, case management, child support guidance/assistance, employment assistance and job readiness skills, life skills and financial management are provided. The prosecuting attorney’s office will decide whether a case will be filed in this court, verses a criminal case being filed. Noncustodial parents not involved in the court can still be referred to Fathers Committed to Families by contacting Jeanine Falls at United Community Builders Office,
611 N. Providence, Columbia, MO 65201.
In addition to helping children and families, it is anticipated the development of this program may help people who may otherwise be put on the Public Defender’s waitlist which has more than 700 cases on it (criminal cases where the defendant is not in custody and waiting for the Public Defender’s office to enter an appearance). As of the last report there were 20 criminal nonsupport cases listed on the waitlist. Some defendants on the waitlist have been waiting more than a year for an attorney.