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Child Support Awareness Month in Carroll County DSS

Mark your calendars to join your local office of Child Support Enforcement during the month of August to celebrate Child Support Awareness Month.  Throughout the state, child support staff will be conducting special outreach projects in an effort to raise awareness about child support services.

The Child Support Enforcement Administration provides services to both noncustodial and custodial parents. These services include the establishment of paternity and child support orders, the collection and distribution of support payments, and the legal enforcement of support orders.  Lesser know services provided by the administration include the review and modification of support obligations as well as providing an array of programs assisting noncustodial parents in their efforts to gain employment.

Child Support Awareness Month is recognized each year both nationally and locally as a means to focus on the importance of providing financial support for children. “Child support provides the financial stability that children need to grow in a stable environment,” said Department of Human Resources Secretary Theodore Dallas.  “Parents who consistently pay child support are making an investment in their children’s future.”It is also a time to recognize the professionals and parents who are committed to making a difference in the lives of children emotionally and financially.

Each year millions of children nationwide are affected financially due to parental separation. To help minimize the hardship, child support offices are aggressively pursuing unfulfilled child support obligations. During the federal fiscal year, October 2010 to September 2011, the local Carroll County Department of Social Services – Bureau of Support Enforcement, collected and distributed more than $10 million in child support.  At the close of the fiscal year the bureau had on record a total of more than 1,800 children born out-of-wedlock in which paternity was either established or acknowledged and more than 2,684 families with active support orders.

Maryland as a whole continues its efforts to improve and exceed previous accomplishments and to become one of the top 10 states in the nation in child support collections.

To reach that goal, the Child Support Enforcement Administration will:

  • increase collections by better leveraging targeted enforcement tools, such as the garnishment of wages and bank accounts and the suspension of professional licenses;
  • streamline operations by adopting best practices to increase the amount of support collected and expedite the distribution of child support payments to families;
  • improve accountability by moving the Audit Unit to the Office of the Inspector General; and
  • Establish a Child Support Advisory Committee comprised of parents, child advocates and public and private sector stakeholders to help implement improvements and make Maryland’s child support system more responsive.

In recognition of Child Support Awareness month, Carroll County’s Bureau of Support Enforcement will be running public service announcements through local media sources, educating local service professionals, and providing small gifts to visitors.   For anyone interested in visiting the bureau, it is located at 1232 Tech Court, Westminster, Maryland 21158.  Hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For additional information about child support, or assistance with child support services, call 1.800.332.6347 or visit the Maryland Department of Human Resources, http://www.dhr.state.md.us.

 

Filed in: Carroll County, Child Support

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