Goodparentspay.com Helping Children Get The Support They Deserve



    Overwhelming Public Response Has Helped Locate Five Defaulting Payors

    QUEEN'S PARK, March 19 /CNW/ - Five individuals who had defaulted on
their court-ordered child and spousal support payments have been found thanks
to the McGuinty government's www.goodparentspay.com website, Minister of
Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur announced today.
    "In just one month of operation, goodparentspay.com has been a huge
success, with more than 16.8 million hits and 201 tips from the public helping
us locate five individuals who had defaulted on their support payments," said
Meilleur. "We've added five new profiles to the site so that Ontarians can
continue to help us make sure that children get the support they deserve."
    Goodparentspay.com was launched on February 19, 2007 and is run by the
Family Responsibility Office (FRO). It features pictures and other information
about defaulting support payors and allows people to submit information about
these individuals anonymously. As defaulting payors are located, new profiles
are added to the site.
    "Goodparentspay.com has already proven itself to be a successful
initiative," said Regina May, co-founder of Mothers Against Fathers in
Arrears. "We have a moral responsibility to go to great lengths to obtain what
is legally owed to children and former spouses."
    Goodparentspay.com is the latest measure introduced by the McGuinty
government to help children and their families get the support they deserve.
Other measures include the Credit Bureau Initiative which has collected more
than $330 million since January 2004 and the Customer Service Unit which has
handled almost 400,000 additional calls since February 2004. This represents a
35 per cent increase in the number of calls the FRO handles.
    "Thanks to this site, people who have failed to live up to their family
responsibilities are getting the message. Goodparentspay.com is working for
Ontario's families," said Meilleur. "When families are stronger, Ontario is
stronger."

    
    Disponible en français

                             www.mcss.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
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                 FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY OFFICE BY THE NUMBERS

    Caseload

    -   187,573: the number of active cases at the Family Responsibility
        Office (FRO).
    -   1,500: the number of new cases the FRO gets each month.
    -   7,100: the number of cases where one parent lives outside Ontario,
        requiring the FRO to work with another jurisdiction to collect or
        make support payments.
    -   12: the number of years, on average, that each case remains open with
        the FRO.
    -   Approximately 1/3 of FRO's total active cases are making some or no
        payments.

    April 2006 - December 2006

    -   $472 million: the total amount of payments collected on behalf of
        clients.
    -   $28.6 million: the total amount of social assistance payments
        recovered.
    -   338,710: the number of calls dealt with by the FRO call centre.
    -   2,474,926: the number of weekday enquiries received by the FRO's
        automated telephone system.
    -   377,786: the number of weekend enquiries received by the FRO's
        automated telephone system.

    Improvements since January 2004

    -   More than $330 million: the amount recovered through the Credit
        Bureau Initiative
    -   Almost 400,000: additional calls that have been handled by the FRO's
        new Customer Service Unit since February 2004. This represents a
        35 per cent increase in the number of calls the FRO handles.
    -   More than 238,000: new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) issued
        to clients to access automated case information (24 hours a day,
        7 days a week).
    -   More than 30,000: additional cases the FRO can now take enforcement
        action on due to the number of cases updated from returned mail.

    Goodparentspay.com Results

    -   5: the number of defaulting parents located through
        goodparentspay.com
    -   201: the number of tips from the public on the location of missing
        support payors.
    -   16,845,532: the number of hits since the site's inception in February
        2007

    Working for Ontario's children and their families

    -   $577.6 million: recovered by the FRO after issuing 56,650 first
        notices of intention to suspend driver's licenses in the period from
        September 1997 to the end of December 2006.
    -   11: the number of enforcement measures, including reporting
        defaulting payors to the Credit Bureau, the FRO can use to ensure
        children and their families get the support they deserve.
    -   6: the number of measures available to the courts, including issuing
        Writs of Seizure and Sale, to ensure support payors live up to their
        family responsibilities.


    Disponible en français

                             www.mcss.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

      HELPING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AT THE FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY OFFICE

    As part of its commitment to make the Family Responsibility Office (FRO)
work better for Ontario families, the government passed the Family
Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Amendment Act in 2005. The
legislation is being implemented over approximately 24 months and will
strengthen enforcement, improve efficiency and increase fairness.

    The latest changes to help children and their families get the support
    they deserve will allow the FRO to:
    -   Post pictures and information about defaulting support payors on the
        new FRO website to help locate parents who can't be found and are not
        living up to their family responsibilities, and
    -   Report defaulting support payors to professional and occupational
        organizations, starting with The Law Society of Upper Canada and the
        Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council.

    Pictures and information may be posted about defaulting payors on the
    website if:
    -   All other trace and locate tools have been exhausted
    -   It has been at least six months since the payor made their last
        support payment, and
    -   The support recipient has provided written consent to post the
        information and the picture.

    Information about the support payor that may be posted on the new website
    includes:
    -   Their name and a photograph
    -   A physical description including height, weight, hair and eye colour
    -   Approximate age, and
    -   Their last known location and usual occupation.

    Other enforcement measures to make the FRO work better for Ontario
    families include:
    -   Increasing the maximum jail term for failure to comply with court
        orders from 90 days to 180 days
    -   Ensuring that early release provisions under Section 28 of the
        Ministry of Correctional Services Act do not apply to jail terms
        ordered under the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears
        Enforcement Act, 1996
    -   Making it easier for the FRO to obtain a financial statement from a
        third party that is financially linked to a default payor, and
    -   Increasing the FRO's powers to demand personal information about
        payors in order to locate them.

    The FRO has the legal authority to enforce court-ordered support payments
and arrears and to take enforcement actions against those who do not meet
their responsibilities.

    Contacts:
    Marc Despatie                                                  Paul Doig
    Minister's Office                    Communications and Marketing Branch
    416-325-5219                                                416-325-5187

    Disponible en français

                             www.mcss.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Marc Despatie, Minister's Office, (416)
325-5219; Paul Doig, Ministry of Community and Social Services, (416)
325-5187

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Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

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