Kansas’ privatized child support system has two new providers in what officials are calling “an effort to simplify delivery for families across the state.”
The move comes as Kansas’ child support collections remain below the national average.
Kansas Department of Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard announced Wednesday that Maximus Human Services Inc. and YoungWilliams PC have been selected to manage the state’s IV-D Child Support Services program. The move reduces the number of providers from four to two and eliminates the stand-alone call center.
“We were looking for partners who helped us achieve the priorities of timely, correct, and accurate case work; a skilled, fair, and professional workforce; and, a unified approach from a Kansas IV-D team. Howard said in a statement. “We believe the two new providers fit that mold, and we look forward to working with them to provide knowledgeable child support services to families in Kansas.”
DCF officials said they were looking for entities “that balance profitability, customer service, manpower needs, federal and state results as well as innovative workload management and engagement. client”.
The Capital-Journal reported in January 2020 that Midwest Evaluation and Research, of Emporia, had been hired by DCF to assess the state’s child support collection system. The consulting firm was hired to help fix the privatized system that does not match national averages.
Following:The national average of child support recoveries in Kansas
DCF announced the supplier contracts about two months after a federal report showed Kansas had the ninth-worst collection rate of the 50 states. Preliminary statistics for fiscal year 2020 on the state’s child support programs were released in June by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In Kansas, approximately 57.91% of the current alimony amount has been collected. This number is one of five federal performance measures. The national percentage of current collection was 66.17%.
Kansas scores relatively high on cost-effectiveness, ranking 14th with $ 6.54 collected for every $ 1 spent.
Kansas’ collection percentage, or arrears, at 66.66% is the fifth-worst rate in the state. The metric measures cases that pay arrears versus the total cases with arrears owed.
Kansas distributed about $ 228 million in collections in fiscal 2020, compared to about $ 199 million in fiscal 2019.
Maximus and YoungWilliams services under the new contracts begin October 1. Contractors will have customer service representatives available to answer calls from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is 1-888-757-2445.
Maximus will serve Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties, which account for approximately 48% of the statewide caseload.
“We are honored that the Kansas Department for Children and Families has selected Maximus for this program,” said James Dunn, vice president of marketing for Maximus, in a statement. “We are committed to providing fair, professional and practical child support services – and will use our experience, innovations and best practices in partnership with DCF to serve families and children in Kansas.”
Maximus will also provide the infrastructure for the call center connections and the automated line, and in 2022 will launch a mobile application for the IV-D program.
YoungWilliams will provide services to the rest of the state, with the remaining 52% of the workload statewide.
“YoungWilliams is thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Kansas Department for Children and Families,” Rob Wells, president of YoungWilliams, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our mission of providing quality child support services to families in Kansas.”
The new supplier contracts have no impact on the Kansas Payment Center.