August is 'Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month'
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's efforts to ensure parents meet the financial obligations for their children have made the commonwealth the national leader in child support enforcement, Secretary of Public Welfare Gary Alexander said today.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the percentage of child support collected, and also has among the lowest administration costs for child support collection of any state. August is national Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month.
"Pennsylvania is clearly out in front in making sure parents fulfill their financial obligations to their children," Alexander said. "When parents are held accountable, it helps makes certain children can thrive and develop to their fullest potential.
"While this is an achievement of which the state can be very proud, it is especially noteworthy for those dedicated public servants who work diligently to make sure parents' financial obligation to their children is met," the Secretary added. "In turn, when both parents provide for a child's financial needs, there's a reduced reliance on taxpayer-funded resources to fill the gap."
Pennsylvania is the only state to meet or exceed all five performance standards that the federal government sets in determining effectiveness of state child support enforcement programs. Those five measures are:
- Determining the paternity of the child;
- Establishing child support orders through the local courts;
- Collecting current monthly child support;
- Collecting overdue child support; and
- Being cost-effective in the administration of child support collection.
For every dollar in administrative costs incurred, Pennsylvania collects $5.68 in child support. By comparison, the national average is $4.86 collected for every dollar spent.
The Department of Public Welfare's Bureau of Child Support Enforcement administers Pennsylvania's child support collection and enforcement efforts through cooperative agreements with the 67 county Courts of Common Pleas' Domestic Relations Sections. In just the first half of 2011, the bureau received nearly 24,000 new court orders establishing a legal obligation to pay child support.
For more information on Pennsylvania's child support enforcement efforts, visit www.childsupport.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Michael Race, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare