State child support collections hiring contractors

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Changes are coming to the way Kansas goes after parents who aren’t paying child support and state leaders claim it will save taxpayers money in the long run.

When it comes to child support collection Kansas ranks in the bottom half of states, 38th.

The Department for Children and Families admits that when it comes to collecting outstanding child support payments private companies can do a better job.

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

YoungWilliams will handle collections for 68 counties including Shawnee, Lee Fisher 35 counties, 18th Judicial District Court Trustee Sedgwich Co., and Veritas will operate in Wyandotte Co.
In a written statement, DCF said it can collect about $200 million which goes to parents and children entitled to that money, the same statement said these private companies are expected to get $52 million more 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.

She said these changes will come with some pain for some people. Currently there are about 200 employees in the department, Thomas says the contracts between the state and the private vendors have clauses that stipulate the private firms will hire the state workers.

“So we’re hoping that the layoffs will be less than 50 staff and those would be the ones who decided not to get a job with the new vendors,” explained Thomas.

The agreement is scheduled to start in September.

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