Wellness briefly

New name, new collections record for N.D. child support

BISMARCK – The N.D. Department of Human Services announced Jan. 22 that its Child Support Division collected a record $140.96 million in court-ordered child support payments in 2012, surpassing last year’s collection amount by 4.25 percent. The division also set an all-time monthly collections record of $14 million in March 2012.

In addition to the collection records, the department has officially removed the word “enforcement” from the division’s name. The name change better represents the division’s current mission of working with parents to promote affordable child support obligations and reliable payments so that children’s needs are met and families do not have to rely on public assistance.

“The success story today is that North Dakota parents do a good job of supporting their children,” said Jim Fleming, director of the Child Support Division. “In 2012, over 75 percent of our current support was paid on time, and another $21 million in past-due support was collected.”

Fleming also said that there are some key factors involved with the record-setting collection totals. These factors include support from the business community through income withholding and employer usage of the division’s website for reporting new hires and remitting funds, the new online lien registry, and good customer service from child support staff to parents and families.

According to department records, roughly 86 percent of the collected funds go directly to families. The remaining 14 percent goes to reimburse public assistance programs, to other states for children living there, and to the federal government.

The N.D. Child Support program serves over 65,100 children and 78,700 parents.

More information about the Child Support Division is online at (www.childsupportnd.com).

Jill Hambek

One more child diagnosed with TB in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS (AP) – Health officials in Grand Forks say another student has been diagnosed tuberculosis in Grand Forks.

The latest diagnosis is tied to an outbreak of tuberculosis in the area.

The student goes to Winship Elementary School. Children who were in close contact with the student are going to be tested Monday.

Officials say 16 people – 6 children and 10 adults- have been diagnosed with the potentially fatal lung infection.

Health officials have linked the outbreak to homeless visitors who exposed a family who gave them shelter.