FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: John Truscott
May 27, 1997 (517) 335-6397


Governor Announces "Most Wanted" Website for Child Support


Parents in Michigan who are owed child support by an absent parent gained two new tools today, announced Governor John Engler. They will be able to track child support scofflaws and gain other information through Internet access.

"Listing the most wanted child support scofflaws in Michigan is one more way to make sure parents do not hand taxpayers the tab when they walk away from the financial responsibility of being a mom or dad," said Engler.

"Those who run from their obligations should be held publicly accountable for those actions. The Internet is one more way to increase the chances of locating them and securing the support owed to their children."

St. Joseph is the first county to comply with the Governor's request that Friend of the Court offices cooperate with the Family Independence Agency (FIA) in identifying cases and developing the website. The first three individuals on the most wanted website are:

"We do our children a disservice if we do not take advantage of every vehicle available to us, and the Internet is a valuable tool in today's mobile society," said the Governor.

Any parent wishing to have their case included on the 'most wanted' site should contact their worker at the Friend of the Court.

The second tool available on the website is for individuals who wish to search for an absent parent themselves. The site links inquirers to a variety of national websites that can be used to perform searches by name, address, employer or to provide additional information.

"We wanted to provide a tool that would allow a custodial parent to begin a search on their own," said Marva Livingston Hammons, director of the Family Independence Agency. "Free parent locator services meet that need by linking searchers to existing tools available on the Internet at no charge to them. We know the receipt of child support keeps both parents involved in their children's lives and helps prevent them from needing welfare," said Hammons. "These actions send a strong message that supporting children is a personal responsibility, not the public's responsibility."

The two new tools and a link to other sites with national information on child support can be found at: http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/chldsupp/cs-index.htm