The Madison County Record Dec. 8, 2015, 3:03pm


Parents who are willing to pay child support but unable to fulfill their obligation due to certain common barriers to employment and financial stability will get some help in Madison County. 

Chief Judge Dave Hylla on Monday announced the inception of Madison County’s first Accountability Court.

The Accountability Court will partner with local community colleges, Madison County Employment Services, and the Madison County States’ Attorneys’ Office, to identify common barriers and connect participants to community agencies that can provide support for these individuals and the families they support, according to a press release announcing the new court.

Community partners will offer assistance with employment, job placement, and coordination for veterans, resume and interview assistance, transportation and skills development.

The Accountability Court will seek to engage local business leaders in order to pursue employment opportunities and eventual placement of participants.

 “The Accountability Court will create a favorable environment for participants to receive support and encouragement to better their lives,” stated Hylla in the press release. “Barriers to success can come in many forms. Let’s help people get back to work for themselves and their families through support, job training and placement.”

Hylla is one of 13 individuals who will serve on a court committee.

The committee will be chaired by former judge Ann Callis, who is an attorney practicing at the Goldenberg firm in Edwardsville.

“All too often we see dedicated parents lapse on their family obligations without assistance or understanding," stated Callis in the release. "We need to empower these individuals to develop the confidence and strength needed to set realistic goals for their families and fulfill their potential by getting them back to work.”

RP Lumber president Bob Plummer also serves on the court committee.

“I strongly support this program and would encourage other local businesses to find a way to find a way to be supportive and involved,” said Plummer.

Madison County associate udges Maureen Schuette and Sarah Smith will preside over the Accountability Court.

Other members of the committee:

· Jennifer Mudge, first assistant States Attorney, Madison County

· Stephanie King, chief of Child Support Division, Madison County

· David Stoecklin, executive director, Madison County Employment & Training

· Clarissa Gaff, managing attorney, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation

· Dr. Linda Chapman, vice-president Academic Affairs Lewis & Clark Community College

· Terry Lane, director, Career & Veteran Services. Lewis & Clark Community College

· Janet Fontenot, dean Business Division, Southwester Illinois Community College

· Bill Gagen, director, Workforce Development, Southwestern Illinois Community College

· Nathaniel Carrol, attorney, Goldenberg, Heller Antognoli

· Omar Malik, attorney, Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli

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