DHS Launches Online Program To Find Deadbeat Oklahoma Parents
LaShauna Sewell, News9.com
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has a new tool to find parents who haven't paid child support.
A new law that goes into effect November 1, 2011, allows Oklahoma Child Support Services to release the names of missing or delinquent parents, and to ask the public's help to locate absent parents. OKDHS started the Most Wanted Missing Parents Program, which is an expanded version of its Most Wanted list. It now includes more parents, including men who've been established as biological fathers but have not appeared in court to set up child support payments.
Under the new law, information made public by OKDHS in a good-faith effort to find delinquent parents cannot be considered violations of any confidentiality laws.
"When parents fail a legal obligation to support their children, there can be serious social consequences for the child and serious legal consequences for the parent," Jeff Wagner, spokesperson for OCSS, said.
"We'll be able to locate more parents than ever before, improving collections by resolving otherwise unworkable cases at no additional cost or risk to the State of Oklahoma or taxpayers."
The new, expanded list includes the individual's name, picture if available, last-known address, and the amount of child support owed.