U of L parenting class offers to help pay child support debt to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L parenting class offers to help pay child support debt to recruit dads

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A U of L parenting class is recruiting dads by offering to help pay down old child support debt.

Some of the first graduates say it's an investment in families.

Look no further than Louisville's own reality show, "Deadbeat," to see the real-life struggle to collect child support -- and many of the 58,000 cases in Jefferson County represent a fractured family.

The University of Louisville's "Stepping Up 4 Your Child" program started in June and next month will start helping dads pay off old child support bills. 
Participants are eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match on old debt. 

For more information on the "Stepping Up 4 Your Child" program, CLICK HERE.

"What that means is what you owe the state, not necessarily what you owe the mother or the child," said Langston Gaither, executive director at St. Stephen Family Life Center. "In your world, if you are the person getting garnished, you could care less who it's going to -- you just want to make sure it's taken care of."

You don't have to be a student at the school to participate. 

U of L Professor Armon Perry won a $5 million grant to teach, workshop and research fathers not living in the same home as their children.

"I've learned how to be patient with my child's mother -- to not fly off the coop with her, to try to reason and put my child over and above first," said a man identified as "Brian" in a YouTube video produced by the class.

In six months, there have been more than 60 graduates, with most of them being African-American. 

The next round of classes begins in January at Saint Stephen Church.

"We realize dads play an important role in their child's life -- especially here in the black community," said Gaither. "We know the plight that plagues this community and sometimes it's parenting."

The program is recruiting dads to repair relationships -- an investment in Louisville's future. 

The program at St. Stephen Church runs seven weeks.

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