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Dec 15, 2008
Statewide Child Support Round Up Hailed as a Success
More than $122 thousand collected or accounted for from delinquent parents

Baton Rouge, La., December 15, 2008
The Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services collected or accounted for more than $122,000 in child support payments during an annual one-day round up of parents chronically delinquent in meeting their child support obligations.  A total of 97 arrests yielded $85,252.56 in payments. Another two cases totaling $36,979.88 were able to be closed.

The program, led by the Support Enforcement Services Division of the Office of Family Support and in conjunction with local district attorneys, sheriff’s offices and police departments, serves as a last resort to recoup delinquent child support payments.  This year, officials were able to collect $15,000 more in payments than last year when 125 arrests yielded just over $70 thousand.
“We are very proud of the efforts of our DSS staff and our partner agencies in law enforcement around the state on behalf of children,” said Secretary Kristy Nichols.  “Our preference, of course, is that we never have to reach this step with any parent, but we believe that we have to send a clear message that the financial responsibility to a child cannot be ignored.” 

Procedures for the round up call for delinquent payers to be arrested and processed.  At the jail, collection officials are on site to collect as much from those parents as possible.  Those individuals are then given a court date at which time a new payment schedule can be established.

Secretary Nichols continued, “The goal of the round up is not to put people in jail, but to collect child support and help keep Louisiana families off the public assistance rolls, which in turn impacts a broad range of social services. Failure to pay is illegal, and we need people to know that failing to live up to that obligation does have consequences.”

Some areas of the state yielded particularly high returns, with $35,999 collected in the Alexandria area, $15,763 collected in Baton Rouge and $25,580 collected in Lake Charles, representing more than 90 percent of all monies collected.  The largest amount collected from an individual was roughly $17,000.

DSS recently announced that the agency set a new state record by collecting $346,144,924 million in child support payments during the Federal Fiscal Year that ended Sept. 30, a 7 percent increase from the previous year.

More than $1 billion is currently owed in back child support by Louisiana’s non-custodial parents.

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