Desertion or abandonment exists when the parent(s) neglects to provide support for their child(ren) or leaves the family to avoid the responsibilities for support.
If the parent deserts or abandons the family:
- query the DES terminal whenever the absent parent’s SSN is known
- check the criss cross and city directories (when available). Use collaterals to help establish absence. When the DES terminal and criss cross and city directories cannot be used, collaterals may be the only source to verify absence. The participant must be aware of the need to contact collaterals. Independent collaterals such as landlord, neighbors, etc. are usually good sources of information.
Contact with the absent parent may be indicated, in the following situations:
- the absence occurred recently (last 12 months) and the absent parent’s residence is not established
- the parent’s absence from the home is questionable
- the amount of child support paid needs to be verified; or it is necessary to verify child support, or
- a child moves from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home
If a participant does not know who the absent parent is, request and record explanation.
Evaluate and resolve any conflicting information. For active cases, if it is believed that the alleged absent parent actually resides in the home request priority location efforts from DCSE. Once information is received, if necessary, refer the case to WIU.
For applications, establish the parent’s absence or explain how the family can obtain benefits as a two-parent household.