Kansas to text parents who owe child support payments

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster,File)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Department for Children and Families officials say it will begin texting parents who owe child support in an effort increase collections.

The department started a pilot project with 100,000 Kansas residents to see if texting helps remind parents to pay child support, The Wichita Eagle reported. The department will also try using texts to remind people about court dates and other appointments.

A news release about the program says that texts will be sent to remind non-custodial parents who haven’t paid child support in the last 45 days. The text will include the court order number, amount of money owed and a link to the payment website.

Department spokeswoman Theresa Freed said the programs costs the state less than $5,000, which comes from postal mail savings.

“We want to see if this is a good way to increase collections,” she said. “If it is, we’ll roll it out statewide.”

Freed said the state can send 1,000 messages every day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The state has cell phone numbers for nearly 49,000 non-custodial parents and nearly 65,000 custodial parents.

The department also announced that child support recipients will get a new debit card soon as Child Support Services switched its card carriers from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank to KeyBank. Payments will be deposited to KeyBank cards starting June 17.


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