CSWG WEB PAGE
2005 Work Group: The Other Parent monitored and participated in the 2005 CSWG over the course of its meetings. Prior to our involvement there were no parents on the work group and no forum for public input. As a result of our efforts one CP and one NCP representatives were added to the group and the DCS director agreed to add public comments to the work group’s agenda.
Over the course of this group’s meetings the special interests groups' motivation became very clear. The judges, attorneys and public prosecutors interests were transparent - their collective primary goal wase simply to increase child support amounts. As the months were winding down for the group to meet Judge Whickham from Thurston County admitted he had no understanding of what child support was based on but that he wanted some sort of movement by the group. As a result he suggested a 78% increase in support amounts. The group voted on and approved this motion with the tipping vote in favor of this increase being made by D.A.D.S. representative Marvin Charles. Fortunately, these recommendations did not make it to the legislature.
The work group was not able to complete many of its tasks which are being continued in the 2007 group. Their final report can be read below. It is extremely important to note that the two parent representatives on the group, both custodial and non custodial, disagreed with much of the rest of the group's decision and wrote their own dissenting opinion.
Considering that the two parents actually living in the world in which this group was making decisions strongly disagreed with the rest of the group's decisions, we have to wonder whose interests were really being served. If not the parents then was it the judges' careers being served? Was it the attorneys' futures being secured?
We have great hopes that the 2007-8 work group will achieve more positive results for Washington parents and families. There are now 3 CP and 3 NCP representatives and some other new faces, however some of the same names from the 2005 group are also still present. What will make a difference is the public showing up and testifying when the group meets.
Work Group issues
Final workgroup report to legislature
The Other Parent minority report
2007-8 Work Group: The current work group is under way as a result of HB1009. There are many issues this group must address and the members of the group are more balanced than the group from 2005. We are hoping for a better product from this group than the 2005 group supplied.
As of the January 11th 2008 meeting the single largest issue of contention has been determining if the premise of the current support schedule is sound. The work group's current economist, David Betson, supports the shared incomes model results while the NCP representatives' David Spring, who also has an economists background, has his own investigation which demonstrates that Dr. Betson's studies are completely invalid, using unscientific data and ridiculous samples to support his findings. As a result of David’s pressure, Dr. Betson has admitted that some of his work was inaccurate. Incredible, given that many states utilize Dr. Betson's work in determining support levels.
The Other Parent is the only parental rights organization that has been at every meeting and we will continue to monitor the group. BUT, we need your help. Our efforts to get issues addressed from the perspective of parents instead of benefiting special interest groups like attorneys and judges is limited without your support. We need you to attend the meetings so they see whose lives they are impacting. If you attend they will give you a chance to speak to the group. At a minimum be sure to send the group an email at SupportSchedule@dshs.wa.gov . They will distribute your comments to the entire group.
Please visit the DCS web page below for a detailed description of the entire work group. You will find participating members, group’s goals, etc.