Private companies to take on collection of delinquent child support

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas is changing the way it collects child support from parents who haven’t been paying.

The state ranks only 38th in the nation for collection of child support. The Department for Children and Families in Kansas says private companies can do a better job than the state when it comes to going after parents who aren’t paying child support.

The state will soon pay a total of $19 million to four companies– YoungWilliams, Lee Fisher, 18th Judicial District Court Trustee, and Veritas, HHS, to take over collections.

In a written statement the Department of Children and Families said it can collect about $200 million. It’s money that goes to parents and children entitled to that money. It says it expects private companies to bring in an additional $52 million over the next three years.

“By getting more in collections you’re not going to have custodial parents needing the help and needing the assistance of DCF as much, so we can get the parents paying for that child rather than the state,” explained Trisha Thomas, Director of Child Support Services.

Because of the change some people will be laid off. The DCF says it hopes at the most that 50 people will lose their jobs. It also says that the contracts between the state and private vendors have clauses that stipulate private firms hire state workers.

The agreement is scheduled to start in September.

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