$17,936 in back child support collected at Amnesty Day fair
A collaboration last month among the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and court systems in Wyandotte, Johnson and Leavenworth counties resulted in the collection of $17,936 in back child support.
The 2011 Amnesty Day and Resource Fair on Aug. 26 in Kansas City, Kan., offered Kansas parents who were the subject of bench warrants for nonpayment of child support the chance to get a new start with the courts, make back payments and set up new child support payment schedules.
“One of our main focuses is to get regular child support payments in for the benefit of the children,” said Trisha Thomas, director of Child Support Enforcement for SRS. “$17,000 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but especially in these times, every dollar counts.”
This was the third child support amnesty fair in Kansas City. It began under the leadership of Wyandotte County Court Trustee Sheryl Bussell, who heard about court systems in other states organizing similar amnesty days.
In addition to discussing their cases with SRS and the court systems, parents could apply for jobs, inquire about GED and community college opportunities and receive resume assistance at the Workforce Partnership booth.
The event was at the Holiday Inn Express at the Legends, purposefully away from courthouses or law enforcement centers to entice parents with bench warrants to attend without fear of arrest.
The strategy worked so well that parents with bench warrants outside of the three participating counties showed up hoping to work out payment arrangements. One man from Reno County attended and was able to get on the phone with the court system in that county and work out a payment plan with the help of the amnesty fair organizers.
Overall, approximately 77 people attended the amnesty fair. Wyandotte County collected $2,825, Leavenworth County collected $400 and Johnson County collected $14,711.
SRS officials said they hoped to help organize more amnesty fairs around other Kansas locations in the future. A similar event is staged annually in Wichita.
Anyone with questions regarding child support may call 1-888-369-4777, or contact their local court trustee.