The first of its kind in Illinois and only recently started is off to a good start in Madison County. The Court was designed to help parents who want to pay child support but are unable to do so because they are unemployed or otherwise lack financial stability. This Court is unlike most Courts because instead of focusing on punishment and deterrence, its focus is on assisting people.
The Court recognizes that it is difficult to handle child support issues, especially arrearages as a pro se litigant. The program is designed to focus on fixing arrearages by helping address their root causes, unemployment. By giving parents a pathway to employment, the program helps them repay their arrears and get back to supporting their children. Not to mention it helps tax payers (in these cases where the arrearages are so high, child support is being paid by taxpayers)
The Accountability Court partnered with the Madison County Employment Services, the Madison County state’s Attorney’s Office, and local community colleges to identify potential candidates for the program and assist with job training and placement. The program specifically seeks highly motivated parents who want to pay child support but cannot and connects them to the proper training and job placement.
The Accountability Court is continuing to grow and is hopeful that with its success, other counties will implement such programs.