Child support problemsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
House steps up child-support criticism
Thursday, March 30, 2000
By Christopher Wills The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD The Illinois Public Aid Department received its harshest scolding yet for bungling delivery of child-support checks as a House committee reacted Wednesday to two scathing audits.
One audit found that the Public Aid Department proceeded with a new system for delivering checks despite computer problems, poor planning and a lack of thorough testing. The other found poor management of the system once it was up and running.
"After reading the reports, you just want to scream, 'Why'?" said Rep. Eileen Lyons, R-LaGrange. "I've never seen such a display of mismanagement and ineptitude in my life. ... What you need to do is weed out the incompetence so it doesn't happen in the future."
Public Aid Director Ann Patla told the House Child Support Enforcement Committee that after much "soul searching," she fired the head of the agency's computer division and replaced the head of the child-support program.
But she again placed much of the blame on her predecessors in the administration of Gov. Jim Edgar.
The federal government passed a law in 1996 requiring states to centralize their handling of child-support checks. The Public Aid Department did not begin serious planning until 1998, and Patla said most of the crucial decisions had been made by the time Gov. George Ryan took office in January 1999.
Still, it was Patla's decision to move forward with the new "state disbursement unit" despite computer problems, inadequate testing and incomplete information from county clerks, which had been handling support checks.
"If Public Aid did not know the SDU was likely to have serious start-up problems, it should have," said state Auditor General William Holland, whose office conducted one of the audits. "It is clear that red flags appeared at all phases of the project."
Patla said she was assured by her computer experts and the DuPage County circuit clerk the outside agency hired to run the SDU that the problems would be overcome. She said the state also feared tens of millions of dollars in federal fines if it did not open the SDU on time.
Until last fall, each county was responsible for delivering child-support payments that businesses deducted from workers' salaries. Then the federal government required the state to centralize the work.
The change created mass confusion. As a result, tens of thousands of checks arrived weeks late or not at all. Families had to pay the rent and buy groceries without the support money they were entitled to.
The state issued more than $10 million in emergency payments to help people through the emergency, and officials are now pondering whether to try to recoup that money.
Rep. Bill Black, a Danville Republican who has been one of the biggest critics of the child-support problems, said it would be fair to recover the money now that the emergency has passed.
"That's taxpayer money," he said.
-- - (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2000
Anyone know how to find dead-beat fathers? Apparently the DA's office 'doesn't know how'.
-- cin (email@example.com), March 30, 2000.
Child support payments or subsidized breeding allotments? Its time to re-examine the entire business of welfare before it buries this country. For many young, low-income girls, having children has become the best job they will ever have. Wake up people, there are some ugly sub-cultures being financed by our tax dollars.
-- Sifting (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2000.
Do you really think these people want to remain in poverty? Do you think they want to stay on what little bit of money that welfare pays instead of getting a job?(you must know,the pay isn't all that great) I don't. I think some low-income welfare recipients feel trapped by the system and simply don't know how to get out. Add to that, a pattern passed from generation to generation. I know many who are terrified and feel lost. I've been there, I got out, and now I'm getting ahead. It is NOT EASY.
Of course I can't speak for everyone. There will always be a few who intend to lie and cheat the system, with no wish to ever help themselves. There are also people like this that were born wealthy and have never had to work a day in their lives, simply because mommy and daddy pay for everything. I do honestly feel that these are the exceptions, rather than the rules.
-- cin (email@example.com), March 30, 2000.
Have you forgotten? It takes an egg AND A SPERM to to produce a baby. Your comment addressed to "low income girls having children" seems a bit sexist, wouldn't you say? It really wouldn't be much different than saying "no-good men that can't keep their DICK IN THEIR PANTS". Take some responsiblity. I know I have.
-- cin (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2000.
Give "em hell cin.
I thought sifter was being kind of sexist myself, as for the dead beat dads, well I was married to one, he was a dead beat then too, but you live and learn. I myself think they are using deadbeat dad's to take away more of our rights, have never got child support, and never will get any, the new laws here in Texas, having to have a SS#, to get fishing license, drivers license, etc. has not sent my ex to jail yet. All it does is infringe on others freedom andmore government control over us all.
I would rather help the poor in this country then elsewhere in the world, where most to them take our handouts and hate us.
-- bystander (email@example.com), March 30, 2000.
THAT IS NOT SEXIST.
Why must you continually discount what has happened by what also happens.
It is VERY understandable HOW A WOMAN can take front stage IN A SINGLE PREGNANT PARENT???
He said, "For many young, low-income girls, having children has become the best job they will ever have."
You said, "It really wouldn't be much different than saying "no-good men that can't keep their DICK IN THEIR PANTS"
I say, "YES IT WOULD BE QUITE DIFFERENT. BECAUSE HAVING A SINGLE MALE PARENT WOULD NOT BE THE BEST JOB THEY HAVE EVER HAD."
Blaming the intent of welfare programs on the idea that a single parent female is given the best job of her life, having children, WHICH IS THE WORST JOB IF YOUR MARRIED, AS SPOKEN BY "NOW" AND THE "MEDIA, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING SEXIST.
LYING MEDIA CLICHE'S
***** Yes, the white male has screwed up. He can get laid 24-7 and he does. They both have sinned. YES
The white male (non mongoloid or negroid) is the major part of of the male population in America, and holds the major part of the blame, as a whole, if not individually.
BUT STILL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT SINGLE PARENT HOMES ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF DESTROYING A BOYS MORAL EDUCATION AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE WEAKER SEX.
ohh women are not weaker? YES THEY ARE. I HAVE A TWIN BROTHER, AND I AM WEAKER. I BLEED. ON A MONTHLY BASIS. IT HURTS WHEN HE HITS ME. IT DOES NOT HURT WHEN I HIT HIM. TWO DAYS A MONTH I CAN NOT COPE WITH CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES FROM MY NORMAL BIOLOGICAL CONDITION.
He eats more than me, he is bigger than me, he could strangle me with one hand. I COULDNT STRANGLE HIM WITH 3 HANDS, yet we were born on the same date.
SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP
-- chelsey (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2000.
Everyone had a point and made it well. I just got home from work and lurked a bit then came back to this posting. I'm in Texas. I work in the "system". I was also a single parent and then a single grandparent (but thank God that little family beat the odds by the Grace of God and has turned out beautifully!). I see it from both sides. IF, and that's a very, very big IF, the plan were put into action and worked as it's supposed to, it would be great. Unfortunately, and I speak from the inside, it doesn't. Much of the money designated toward these systems goes into deep pockets at the top of the bureaucratic food chain. The IT is inefficient. Data is inaccurate. Spin is King. Might is "right". Justice is a whore in bondage, and where families are concerned, this is a terrible condemnation of our society. The problem lies in the fact that the administration of these programs is so complicated that very, very few citizens (of any opinion) can begin to understand how to research the relationships between the entities who apply the statutes and the laws themselves. I have given up on the public ever awakening to the distortion and manipulation of what was intended to be a means of making our society a little stronger. My generation had a phrase: "large ripping sound". Applies here, especially in Texas where "welfare reform" is the buzzword. I guarantee, the reform has not been to the benefit of the larger community, but the welfare of a selected few has been substantially enhanced. I've seen quite a few posters here with a real pitbull approach to problem solving. Maybe some of you will get a burr under your saddle and start picking this issue to pieces. You youngsters have the know- how to get information, disseminate and then generate broad participation in analysing it.
-- listening carefully (email@example.com), March 30, 2000.
You say that women are the weaker sex? Physically-yes. But in other ways.....hmm...maybe you should ask my kids.
-- cin (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2000.