Head Start and chils support - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-05-2013, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a Texan single unemployed Mom with a 3 yr old baby boy, the father of my boy is a married man, during the past three years he had supported me financially and he will until........, altough both agreed not to apply for child support, now that I want to enroll my child in the head start program, they told me I need to apply for child support in order to enroll him, is this correct? what can I do to enroll my child without having to apply for CS?

 

Please help !

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#2 of 9 Old 03-05-2013, 10:13 PM
 
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my understanding is that anytime you receive assistance from the government (food stamps, head start, etc) you must allow the agency to go after child support from the child's father so they can recoup some of the money and make sure that the father is helping to support his child and not just leave it to the taxpayers to pay for it.


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#3 of 9 Old 03-06-2013, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rubelin View Post

my understanding is that anytime you receive assistance from the government (food stamps, head start, etc) you must allow the agency to go after child support from the child's father so they can recoup some of the money and make sure that the father is helping to support his child and not just leave it to the taxpayers to pay for it.


This hasn't been my experience; I think that where I am, this is just for TANF. We don't even do CS through the system; ex pays directly to me. They accept the divorce decree or a signed statement from him regarding the amount.

 

YMMV of course. I would call and ask questions.

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#4 of 9 Old 03-06-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rubelin View Post

my understanding is that anytime you receive assistance from the government (food stamps, head start, etc) you must allow the agency to go after child support from the child's father so they can recoup some of the money and make sure that the father is helping to support his child and not just leave it to the taxpayers to pay for it.

This is my experience. (food stamps, medical and WIC have been received here and each time I've had to do a CS form).


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#5 of 9 Old 03-06-2013, 04:31 PM
 
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I worked for HS for many years as a specialist and teacher. I was also on the ERSEAT team (which among other things is responsible for ranking applications and making enrollment decisions. I'm also a former Head Start Policy Council president and HS/EHS parent. There's nothing in the Federal HS performance standards about that. I don't know if a local program could make that part of their eligibility criteria, or not. I don't think so, though.

When you submit a Head Start application, you have to provide proof of income so they can determine if you qualify financially. No more than 10% of the children can be "over income" which means over the federal poverty line. But, Head Start is a "free" program. They don't "go after" someone for reimbursement. The only time a HS parent would have to pay, is if care is needed beyond the six hour Head Start day (if the program even offers wrap around care.) In that case, parents either pay for the extra hours or apply for childcare subsidy funding. THEY (usually either social services or a non-profit agency) may want to make sure the child's father is paying what he should. But for the actual Head Start program, all you need to do is document what support you are currently getting from his father.

Head Start operates very different from other programs (like SNAP and TANF.) HS is also a family support/education program (not just early childhood education.) Enrolled families are assigned a family services specialist and complete a family partnership agreement. It's very possible that they might encourage you to go for a formal child support agreement to protect yourself and possibly get more money coming in.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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#6 of 9 Old 03-06-2013, 06:13 PM
 
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This is my experience. (food stamps, medical and WIC have been received here and each time I've had to do a CS form).


Was your ex paying child support when you applied?

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#7 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply, its really appreciated. The father of my child has been supportng me financially (almost 20% of his pay check) since day one, and claims he always be, is it enough for HS to accept a letter from the father stating this and "legalize" the letter by going to a lawyer office to formalize it?

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#8 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 11:13 AM
 
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I think a notarized statement would be fine since all they really require is proof of all income you receive.
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#9 of 9 Old 03-08-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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I think they asked me for a copy of a few months bank statements with the support payments highlighted (I blacked out anything they didn't need to be looking at)

 

and, to clarify my earlier statement - I was referring to those who do not have legal orders for child support. Here, you have to allow the Attorney General to pursue child support if you don't have an order. It's up to the AG's office to pursue or not, but you have to agree to let them. I got food stamps & emergency TANF for a few months when XH was laid off so that info was based on that experience. Here, you can only get into head start if you're already on those programs (since the program is so full)


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