SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) today reminded people to pay their child support if they plan to enjoy the upcoming hunting season. This fall marks the second year of HFS’ successful partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to deny hunting and fishing licenses from parents who do not pay child support.
In the two years since the program started, HFS has collected over $570,000 for Illinois families. Over 13,000 hunting licenses and fishing permits have been denied from applicants with outstanding child support balances.
“While most parents do provide financial support for their children, this program is a strong deterrent for those who don’t. I would like to thank our colleagues at the Department of Natural Resources for their part in helping us collect money owed to Illinois families,” said HFS Director Barry S. Maram. “Our goal is not to punish people by taking away recreational privileges but to work with all parents to help them give their children the support they deserve.”
Parents are encouraged to review and meet any child support obligations they may have before applying for a hunting or fishing license or permit. Technology administered through IDNR allows HFS to crosscheck the names of child support violators with everyone in Illinois who applies for a hunting or fishing license. If an applicant owes unpaid child support, he or she may not be issued a license.
The program is one of several methods HFS uses to collect child support from non-custodial parents. Despite the challenges posed by the current economic recession, the department was able to achieve successful collections though programs such as the Driver’s License Suspension Program, the Deadbeat Parent Web Site and the New Hire Outreach Program. Those programs resulted in a record $1.38 billion being collected in fiscal year 2009.
Child support enforcement services are available to any parent who needs assistance in establishing legal parentage, establishing child support or medical support, or enforcing support. Some enforcement tools, such as interception of income tax refunds, are available only to customers of the child support enforcement program. To register for free child support enforcement services, parents must complete and sign an application. Applications are available online at http://www.ilchildsupport.com/ or by calling 1-800-447-4278 for assistance.