By Mike Kruzman /

A modification within the county department that handles paternity and child support cases in court will make the job more attractive to qualified applicants.

The Family Support Division brings cases from custodial parents against non-custodial parents premised on policy recognizing that a child is entitled to financial support from both parties and that establishing paternity helps give the child a sense of identity.

Traditionally, the Division is staffed by an assistant prosecutor, a full-time administrative specialist, and a part-time administrative aide. The part-time position has been vacant since last October, and despite offering the job to qualified applicants, candidates for the position have chosen to take full-time or higher-paying jobs elsewhere.

Eric Gutenberg heads up the division and was before the Livingston County Public Safety Committee on Monday to ask that the part-time aide position be modified to full-time. He said 20 hours was not adequate for what the job entails.

Gutenberg said the aide’s duties include conducting comprehensive interviews with the custodial party about personal and sensitive subject matter and prepare the legal documents to initiate court actions. This happens while also evaluating and responding to hundreds of referrals from the state’s Office of Child Support, annually.

Gutenberg took over the position in January and said it was immediately apparent that this position needed to be filled.

A memo from Livingston County Prosecutor David Reader projects the modification to cost an additional $28,068, annually, but due to Title IV status, the county would be reimbursed 66% of that.

The Public Safety Committee passed the request unanimously and it will now go before the full Board of Commissioners.