Upstate parents calling for sooner changes to DSS child support system

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Regina Arnold is a single mom of two daughters who’s frustrated with South Carolina’s child support enforcement system. “I have to contact the clerk of courts office. I have to let them know – hey, my ex has not paid. I need a letter sent out or I need a court date,” said Arnold.

She called a meeting with fellow parents and the Spartanburg County Clerk of Court looking for answers.

“It’s not okay for me. It’s not okay for anybody else who has to work through the system to get their child support,” said Arnold.

State leaders say the current system is outdated, costing South Carolina more than $100 million in federal fines.

“I don’t know why it’s taken this long,” said Spartanburg County Clerk of Court Hope Blackley. She said the current system makes it hard for her 8 case workers to monitor up to 2,500 cases, each – though they’re doing the best they can. “It’s more of a manual system, if you will – it’s analog. It’s pretty outdated.”

Blackley said they can’t force every parent to pay their child support – and do so on time, but a new system would make it easier to hold them accountable. “A new system would definitely be helpful in regards to pinpointing cases a lot faster to get them in the court,” said Blackley.

A computerized version of the state’s child support system won’t be ready until 2019.

“It’s unacceptable – plain and simple,” said Arnold. She says that’s way too long for families like hers.  “It may cover car insurance, it may cover groceries, I got school supplies coming up.”

State representative Eddie Tallon tells us the Legislative Oversight Committee will check in with DSS for a status on the new system  at the end of this year.

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