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Audit Released Today Applauds Michigan for Collecting More Than $3 Billion In Child Support Over A Two-Year Period - Saving Taxpayers $81 Million In 2010 Alone

 April 5, 2011

The Michigan Auditor General today released a comprehensive report with good news for more than 560,000 Michigan children: Michigan excelled in collecting and distributing about $3 billion in child support in the past two years.

"The mission of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, first and foremost, is the welfare and protection of the state's most vulnerable people, particularly children," MDHHS Director Maura D. Corrigan said. "This report clearly illustrates our unwavering commitment to holding parents accountable for the financial support of their children. No child should ever go without simply because a parent has reneged on their financial responsibilities."

The program already has received federal recognition, including about $27 million per year in performance incentives. Michigan's child support process provides taxpayers with an outstanding return on investment: For every $1 spent, the program collects $6.55 in child support.

About 70 percent of children entitled to receive child support get at least some payments, averaging about $250 per month.

The program's success is important because these are private dollars that have a significant positive impact on children's lives as well as on the state's well-being, said Marilyn Stephen, the MDHHS Office of Child Support director.

"Children receiving child support do better in school and experience less poverty," Stephen added. "Research shows that families who receive child support are more likely to leave public assistance and less likely to return."

And because a person receiving public assistance must cooperate with child support efforts to collect from the non-custodial parent, it also helps the state's coffers. In fact, in fiscal year 2010, more than $81 million was collected as reimbursement to the state and federal government for public assistance.

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