COLUMBIANA COUNTY Publicity announcement pays off for JFS agency



An advertisement lists parents' names and birthdays.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- A new drive to collect delinquent child support has produced results.
"A few people have dropped off significant payments," said Susan Stryffler-Heim, the administrator the Columbiana County Job and Family Services' child support agency.
The payments came after the agency announced last week it would publicize the names of 30 parents who are delinquent on their support.
The names, all men, appeared in small ads Tuesday in area newspapers.
Stryffler-Heim said that those delinquent parents who made the significant payments were not those on the list.
The 30 men listed in the ads collectively owe $1.1 million in child support. Of the 30, the largest amount owed is $68,000 and the minimum amount owed is $23,000. The total delinquent support in the county tops $59 million.
The ad lists only lists names of delinquent parents and dates of birth. Stryffler-Heim said the birthdays were included to help clarify identification.
Pressure on parents
The agency hopes publicity will generate pressure on the delinquent parents to pay up, or promote tips on the whereabouts of the parents.
The agency does not have current addresses for many of the men on the list. Information on the location of these parents can be given to the agency at (330) 424-7781.
Stryffler-Heim said there's no plan to repeat the advertisement in the next few weeks.
The effort will be evaluated and will be repeated if it is effective, said Stryffler-Heim.
Failure to pay child support can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
The agency waits until a parent is delinquent $2,000 to $5,000 before referring the case to the county prosecutor's office. However, the agency must have a valid address of the delinquent parent before making the referral.
wilkinson@vindy.com

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