Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aug 13/Seattle, WA - Veterans Child Support Project: Helping Homeless and At-Risk Veterans with Child Support Problems - Pro Bono Opportunity

The Northwest Justice Project is seeking volunteer attorneys and law students to provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income veterans with child support problems. A free "Child Support 101" CLE will be held for volunteers at Seattle University School of Law on Friday, August 13, 2010. Registration information and other CLE and project details will be provided to those who volunteer.

Child support obligations are a barrier to housing, employment, and self-sufficiency for many homeless and at-risk veterans. Many veterans incurred these child support obligations while they were homeless, in a phase of active addiction, or otherwise untreated for a serious mental illness. For incarcerated veterans, the growing arrears from unpaid child support can be a significant barrier to reentry into the community. Many veterans may be able to reduce their child support obligations to a more manageable level and help eliminate these barriers.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the American Bar Association (ABA) are piloting a project in Seattle and eight other cities to assist homeless and at-risk veterans with child support problems. The local partners for this project include Northwest Justice Project, Open Door Legal Services, VA, DSHS Division of Child Support, and the HHS Seattle Regional Office of Child Support Enforcement.

The local partners are recruiting private attorneys to provide pro bono legal services to veterans who need assistance with their child support obligations. Services will include assessments to determine whether the veteran meets criteria for renegotiation of child support payments and assistance with modifying child support obligations and negotiating payment arrangements and adjustments for child support arrears. Experienced mentors will be available to assist volunteers in providing these services.

If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please contact Bridgette Murphy, Northwest Justice Project, 206.464.1519 ext. 615, .

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