Texting pilot launched this week to remind parents to pay child support, new card coming.
TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Phyllis Gilmore is pleased to announce a new effort to increase child support collections for Kansas families. Beginning Monday, April 25, DCF’s Child Support Services’ (CSS) division began sending text messages to clients, as part of a pilot to determine the effectiveness of this form of communication.
“Many of our parents utilize cell phones, and we are confident texting will allow us to relay messages more quickly and effectively than other forms of communication,” said CSS Director Trisha Thomas. “We are already receiving great feedback from our contractors and families.”
The initial message that began this week, will go to 100,000 parents. Messages are being sent to both non-custodial and custodial parents. The message is the following:
Welcome to KS Child Support text messaging! We will text for appointment & reminders. We will NEVER request personal information via a text message. If you do not want to receive text messages from KS Child Support reply with STOP.
Texting will be used to remind non-custodial parents who have not made a payment in the last 45 days of their obligation. The text will include the court order number, current amount owed, arrears amount owed and the total for each court order. The text will also include a link to direct the individual to the Kansas Payment Center (KPC) website to make a payment. Additional personalized messages may be sent to remind parents of upcoming court hearing dates, genetic testing appointment reminders and other general correspondence. Messages will only be sent from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Texting is an additional effort to increase collections. Total CSS collections last month were up 8.6 percent over the same time last year. This translates into an additional $2.5 million collected for Kansas families.
Also new in the CSS division, custodial parents can expect a new debit card soon. CSS is preparing to notify parents that KeyBank will become the new KPC financial services provide, replacing J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. Child support payments will begin to be deposited on the new card, beginning June 17. In early June, custodial parents can expect their new Key2Benefits prepaid debit card and welcome packet. The packet will include instructions on how to activate the card. Custodial parents should continue to use their KPC NOW Visa debit card until the balance is zero, and then begin to use funds from the new card.
New card (will begin to be used June 17)