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Family Safety

WARNING


Computer use can be monitored, and internet history is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or TTY (800) 787-3224.

Getting Child Support Safely


For many parents who have experienced family violence, child support can represent an opportunity to establish and maintain economic independence.  At the same time, the child support process may introduce safety concerns for some victims.

At Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency, we recognize that some families have safety concerns that prevent them from seeking or paying child support. Examples of these concerns include:
 
  • My ex has threatened to take custody of my kids if I ask for child support.
  • I currently live with someone who controls our finances and won’t let me seek child support from my child’s other parent OR let me pay the child support I owe.
  • I am worried about my physical safety and the safety of my children if I seek child support (you could be concerned about an ex, a current spouse or partner, a family member…).
  • I don’t want my ex to know where I live.
  • I am anxious about the issue of parenting time coming up and the possibility of my children spending time alone with my ex.
  • I have a Civil Protection Order (CPO) and don’t want any contact with my ex.
 
If any of these examples describe your situation or you have other safety concerns, please contact us. Our staff can walk you through various options that can help protect your information and keep you and your children safe while visiting our office. For example, depending on the service requested, we can provide separate meeting times, request security personnel, or use phone conferencing options.

Reporting Safety Concerns


 Please contact us in person or by phone (614) 525-3275:
  • If you have concerns that sharing your information may impact your safety or the safety of your child(ren).
  • If you are worried that going through the child support process may risk your family’s safety.
  • If you have a current Civil Protection Order (CPO).
You can report safety concerns when you open your child support case or at any point after a case has been opened.

You are not required to report safety concerns to FCCSEA but doing so can help us provide information on things we can do that may make it safer to receive child support services.  Any information you choose to share is confidential.  The only exception is that the agency is required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the county public children services agency. 

Please Note: If you apply for benefits through the Ohio Works First (OWF), Medicaid, and/or Title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance (FCM) programs, a child support case will be automatically opened and you will be required to cooperate with the child support enforcement agency.  If you are afraid for your safety or the safety of your children, don't wait for someone to ask. Talk with your OWF/Medicaid/TANF caseworker about your concerns and your options.
 
If you receive notification that a child support case has been opened, do not ignore it. Contact the child support office immediately about your safety concerns and ask about your options.  If establishing paternity or establishing a child support order could harm you or your children, you may apply for a Good Cause Waiver, which exempts you from the requirement to cooperate with the CSEA.  Child support staff can discuss the waiver and required documentation. 

For free information on how to protect your family, please call the Ohio Domestic Violence Network at 1-800-934-9840. If you need immediate assistance, please call 9-1-1 or LSS CHOICES at 614-224-HOME (4663).
 

Additional Help & Support

If you have made threats or behaved in a way that could be physically or mentally harmful to another individual, help is available.  Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or contact one of the local service providers below:
  • Southeast, Inc. (614) 444-0800
  • Crossroads Recovery Services (614) 445-0352
  • Africentric Personal Development Shop (APDS) (614) 253-4448

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