Arrests in the Portland area and a new website are part of an effort to raise awareness about the importance of child support collection in Oregon
The Oregon Department of Justice led an effort to arrest delinquent parents who were judged able to pay to highlight Child Support Awareness Month.
"Collecting child support is a crucial job because it makes a major difference in the lives of nearly 250,000 children in Oregon," said Attorney General Kroger. "I want to thank the Portland Police Bureau and the U.S. Marshals Service for their outstanding work on this case."
The Department of Justice also unveiled an extensive overhaul to the Child Support Program's website. The information on www.oregonchildsupport.gov has been completely rewritten and reorganized. The new site is easier to navigate, more informative and more helpful for the parents, employers and professionals who rely on it for case information and services.
Employers were directly responsible for gathering more than 70 percent of the $336 million in child support collected in fiscal year 2009. In October 2009, the Division of Child Support (DCS) was awarded an $87,483 grant from the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement and an additional $199,099 in federal matching funds to acquire technology that will improve the process of collecting child support from employers. Making it as convenient as possible for employers to work with the Oregon Child Support Program is a top priority.
The new website better highlights services available to families to help them provide support to their children. Child support is more likely to be paid when families are engaged early in a process they find convenient and easy. The website redesign is a significant step toward adding more online services, such as interactive forms and alternative payment methods.
The vast majority of child support in Oregon is collected voluntarily, but unfortunately some parents refuse to meet their obligations to financially support their children. In those cases, the Department of Justice and local District Attorneys are forced to take additional legal action.
Wednesday's arrest sweep was conducted by the Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Portland Police Bureau. The sweep targeted 15 parents in Multnomah County who are the subject of arrest warrants issued by a judge because they failed to appear in court to explain their refusal to pay court-ordered child support. All of the arrestees face maximum sentences of up to six months in jail plus full payment of their overdue obligations to their children.
Arrested were: Jacob S. Parker, who owes $17,346 in back child support; Jacob V. Aalberg, who owes $16,056; Christopher T. Elliot, who owes $30,856; Tammie J. Anderson owes $12,983; and Arne H. Karlson, who owes $7,288.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Justice Division of Child Support is to enhance the well-being of children by providing child support services to families. DCS won an award earlier this year for collecting the most back-owed child support in the region in 2009. While the Child Support Program continues to pursue delinquent parents, it also is committed to working with parents who want to support their children.
The Division of Child Support is incredibly efficient; for every $1 it receives from the Oregon Legislature, it collects $38 for parents who are raising their kids.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org