“New Hire” Initiative

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Deadbeat parents beware: a new initiative by Gov. Rod Blagojevich may make it easier to track you down. The head of the Illinois Department of Public Aid was in town Wednesday to highlight the new plan.

Barry Maram says collecting child support is all about the children. The Illinois Department of Public Aid director says a new hire initiative will help track down deadbeats and collect more money for kids.

Speaking to a group of pre-schoolers in Rockford, Maram explained how it works.

“Every time a business hires someone new, that business must provide information on the new employee to the employment office. The IDPA can review that information to track down deadbeat parents and garnish wages for support payments.”

But 30 percent of Illinois businesses are not turning in new hire information like they should be; possibly letting deadbeats slip through the cracks.

"Hundreds of thousands of employer handbooks have been sent out informing employers of their obligations and easy ways to respond," explains Maram.

"A lot of what we're finding is employers not realizing what they need to do and how easy it is," says child support enforcement director Pam Compton.

The IDPA will also post information on the Web as well as travel to businesses throughout Illinois to further explain the importance of reporting new hires.

"Just a one percent increase in collections could generate $3.8 million in additional child support dollars," says Compton.

The IDPA has been working on this initiative since November. They say they'll work to raise awareness first and if necessary businesses could face sanctions down the road for not complying.