Contracts have been awarded to four vendors, who will take over the duties of child support collection in Kansas next September. State officials say those who avoid paying their obligations can expect a more aggressive approach.
Kansas Department for Children and Families spokeswoman Theresa Freed predicts the four contractors will increase the amount of child support collected in Kansas. She says the department projects an increase of $52 million dollars in collections over the three-year contract period.
“We believe this privatization is going to increase accountability because these companies will have better technology," she says. "We already have some privatization of child support here in the state of Kansas anyway, and this will just spread it across the state, and we think that will increase efficiency.”
Nearly 140,000 Kansas children live with a custodial parent who should be receiving child support. However, state officials say Kansas ranks 42nd among the 50 states in terms of collecting those payments.
Freed says improving child support collection will benefit thousands of impoverished children, while relieving some of the burden on the state’s taxpayers to support them.