AUSTIN - The Texas Workforce Commission, in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General, has received the Commissioner’s Award for Innovative Partnership from the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement.

The OAG accepted the award on behalf of the state of Texas at the 17th National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference held in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 9-12 for the Texas Non-Custodial Parent Choices Project.

The project is designed to assist parents who are not working and not able to pay child support with an innovative combination of employment and support services tied to increased monitoring and accountability.

“Participants have been able to fulfill their commitments to their families and become more self-sufficient,” TWC chairman and commissioner Diane Rath said. “Through this collaboration with the OAG and the local court systems, this project has achieved significant results.”

Since the pilot project began two years ago, more than $2.6 million has been collected to date from 1,261 project participants.

About 60 percent of those who participated in the NCP program found jobs and, among those, 50 percent remained employed.

“With the help of NCP Choices, Texas parents are empowered by jobs and the ability to provide much-needed support for their children,” Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “Our partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission helps parents, children - and the taxpayers, who benefit when parents take financial responsibility for their kids. We will continue developing innovative solutions that help Texas families.”

The custodial parents associated with NCP Choices participants were 10 percent less likely to rely on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, which assist low-income individuals and families. County courts in Bexar, Galveston, Brazoria, Hidalgo, Tarrant and El Paso counties participated in the pilot-stage of the program.

The U.S. Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement is a federal/state/local partnership to help families by promoting family self-sufficiency and child well-being.

For more information on the Non-Custodial Parent Choices Project, contact Janece Rolfe at the OAG at (512) 460-6414.

For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.