Hamilton County extends amnesty program for those behind in child support

Sep 2, 2014

Hamilton County Job and Family Services is extending its August amnesty program for parents who owe child support.

Department spokesman Brian Gregg said the August amnesty program  - which allows those whose driver's or professional licenses to be re-instated after paying a month's child support and reporting their employment  - will be extended through September.

Over 300 people took advantage of the amnesty in August, but there are thousands more eligible.

Hamilton County is giving amnesty to parents whose driver’s or professional licenses have been suspended for not paying child support.

Delinquent parents can have their licenses renewed if they go to the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services and do basically three things, according to department spokesman Brian Gregg.

“You are going to pay one month’s child support; you are going to report where you are working right now; and, if you are not working, you are going to enroll in a job-readiness program,’’ Gregg told WVXU.

Gregg said persons who take advantage of the amnesty offer will also be required to sign an agreement “so that you are committed to making these payments going forward.”

For doing that, Gregg said, “we are going to re-instate your license.”

Job and Family Services’ Child Support Enforcement Agency handles about 85,000 cases a year. Gregg said about one-third of those persons make regular child support payments, while another one-third make “sporadic” payments. There are about 23,000 persons in the county now who have had their licenses suspended because of they are in arrears on child support.

A press release from the department said that last year it collected $130 million “for families that might not have otherwise have had the financial support necessary to pay for such items as food, medical care, child care, school clothes and school supplies.”

Moira Weir, director of the Department of Job and Family Services, said the department sees the amnesty program as a “win-win.”

“Parents are able to get their licenses back; we collect some immediate support for the children; and, most importantly, we set up a pipeline for future support,’’ Weir said in the news release.