Health and Family Services Cabinet
State Announces Top-Performing Child Support Contractors; Oldham ranks first; Warren is most improved
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2007) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services today announced the state’s top-performing child support contracting officials and one that made significant improvement during the past year.
For the fifth consecutive year, Oldham County, led by County Attorney John Fendley, led the state rankings, which includes criteria of child support establishments, paternity establishments, current support collections and arrearage collections.
Warren County, led by County Attorney Amy Hale Milliken, showed the greatest improvement in the rankings.
The Division of Child Support, within the cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), administers child support enforcement jointly with local contractors. The division rated the performance of contractors in all 120 Kentucky counties during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007. In most instances, the Kentucky Division of Child Support contracts with a county attorney to administer its work, but in some cases a special prosecutor can be appointed.
DCBS Commissioner Mark A. Washington said he is grateful for the contractors’ diligence.
“With the support of DCBS staff, our child support contractors are working hard for the families of their communities,” he said. “In counties large and small, they continue to improve services so the children they serve get the financial support they are entitled to.”
Warren rose from 61st in 2006 to 28th this year.
Milliken said child support is a priority of her administration. When she was appointed county attorney in April 2004, Warren was ranked 118 of 120.
“I asked DCBS child support staff, ‘What do I need to do?’,” she said. “I worked closely with attorneys from several other counties to see what was working for them.”
Milliken said each member of her office has a specialty, like collecting delinquent child support and medical bills, locating a non-custodial parent and enforcing child support orders.
“It may not work for every child support enforcement office, but it’s been working well for us,” she said. “it gives staff ownership of their area and an opportunity to be proud of their job. They are able to see results through the numbers the state provides.”
Milliken has hired a part-time detective who tracks noncustodial parents who owe child support.
Another factor in her office’s improvement is a strong relationship with the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron, Milliken said.
“It’s not our goal to send people to prison, but when we have not been able to collect civilly, we will ask the commonwealth’s attorney to pursue criminal charges,” she said. “It’s a combined effort where we will use all of our resources.”
Milliken said it’s not just the children in her community that make staff work so hard.
“The better we do, the better the state does as a whole.”
The top performers for the 2006-07 fiscal year, in rank order, are as follows:
• Oldham County, County Attorney John R. Fendley
• Morgan County, County Attorney Steve O’Connor
• Larue County, County Attorney Dale M. Morris
• Adair County, County Attorney Jennifer Hutchison-Corbin
• Allen County, County Attorney William Hagenbuch Jr.
• Trigg County, County Attorney H.B. Quinn
• Owen County, Special Prosecutor Stephen Dallas
• Bell County, County Attorney Neil Ward
• Washington County, County Attorney Hamilton B. Simms
• Webster County, County Attorney Clint Prow
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