Mississippi DHS Targeting Deadbeat Parents - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi DHS Targeting Deadbeat Parents

Deadbeat moms and dads in Mississippi, beware. The Department of Human Services is aggressively going after the money owed to about 350,000 Mississippi children.

Single mom Angela Robinson knows how tough it can be to go after the payments alone. That's why she's happy the state is now lending a hand to help children like her's get what they are owed.

Director Don Taylor has a message for those deadbeat parents.

"You need to look at what you're doing now and ask yourself, 'Is this how I want my child to remember me?'"

Child Support Collections in Mississippi have gone up $22 million in the last two years. DHS enforces payments for 386,000 children, taking in $230 million this past year. That sounds good, but $810 million remains uncollected.

DHS uses methods like intercepting pay or unemployment, suspending licenses, and reporting non-payment to the credit bureaus. They also send out flyers showing the top ten child support fugitives. The parents featured owe tens of thousands of dollars and you can help find them.

The list is updated every six months, but it's not widely publicized or on the Internet, like the sex predators database. This list is only posted in some public buildings. Still, it appears to be working.

"Sometimes we get four out of ten, sometimes we get seven out of ten. It's been working very well for us," Taylor said.

But it's not just about the checks. DHS also promotes emotional involvement from absent parents. Angela's children now get financial support and visits from their father.

"I encourage everyone who is a single parent to come out and DHS will support you," Robinson said.

If you know the whereabouts of a person wanted for not paying child support, you can call the Mississippi Department of Human Services at 1-866-388-2836.

by Wendy Suares

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