Carroll County outdoes itself tracking delinquent parents

June 23, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

A team of agencies has again exceeded its record for collecting child support from delinquent parents, said M. Alexander Jones, director of the Carroll County Department of Social Services.

The team includes the DSS Child Support Unit, the Carroll State's Attorney's Office, the Carroll County Sheriff's Department and the courts.

The team has collected $4 million since July 1, 1992 and expects to net another $100,000 by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Mr. Jones said.

"This is also the fourth year in a row this team has collected a half- million more than the year before," Mr. Jones said. "You couldn't do it unless you have the people and the system in place."

Mr. Jones said that while the DSS unit helps track delinquent parents and helps parents who come in seeking help, the law enforcement agencies and courts in Carroll County are more helpful than in other parts of the state in following up on what DSS turns up.

"The local state's attorney's office is one of few in the state that will extradite parents," Mr. Jones said. "The sheriff has a deputy almost full time, if not full time, serving papers in an unmarked car."

The DSS office is obligated to help parents seek support payments, whether the parents are on public assistance or not.

However, the money collected often keeps parents from having to go on public assistance, or reduces the amount the state has to pay them.

Mr. Jones said he did not have figures yet for this year on payments collected toward families on public assistance.

Last year, out of $3.6 million collected, about $933,000 was for people receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

That was $933,000 the state otherwise would have had to pay those families, Mr. Jones said.

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