From the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office:
BEL AIR, MD- November 12, 2009- Despite the current economic woes the Harford County State’s Attorney collected $18.4 million dollars in child support payments in Fiscal Year 2009. The State’s Attorney’s Family Support Division increased collection by more than $600,000 over FY 2008. This is an increase of over $3 million dollars since FY 2004.
“I am very proud of this extremely successful program,” says State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly. “In spite of growing unemployment and other economic issues, our Family Support Division went after and increased the dollars that is due our children.”
Cassilly describes the child support effort as a very effective crime prevention initiative. “If parents have the resources they need to raise their children, they can spend more time being parents with their children,” says Cassilly.
The State’s Attorney provides child support enforcement services through an agreement with the Bureau of Support Enforcement (BOSE). Custodial parents who need help with child support may apply to BOSE which will refer the case to the State’s Attorney. The State’s Attorney will then establish paternity through the use of DNA testing. Once paternity is established the amount of child support is determined using State guidelines and the State’s Attorney prepares a court order. The enforcement of collections is only necessary when the parent who owes the support seeks to cheat their children of that needed financial assistance.
“Some parents go to extraordinary lengths to avoid taking responsibility for their children,” Cassilly says. “Child support exists to provide for the best interest of the child and puts the responsibility where it belongs, in the hands of the people who brought this child into the world.”
The Family Support Unit has 6,763 open cases in Harford County. The unit added 726 new support cases in FY ’09.