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Parents Banding Together to Cope with Child Support Problems

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RALEIGH — The state says it almost has the bugs worked out of the new centralized child support system. But parents affected by the system are not buying it.

The state says the problems are fixed and the system is current. However, there are still 7,600 unidentified checks which workers are trying to match with the proper cases.

As a result of the problems, a local chapter of a national group has recently formed in the Triangle to help parents cope with the situation.

Stephanie Galifianakis decided it was time that women frustrated with the child support system got together. She has started ACES, or the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.

So far, there is a lot of interest.

"I wasn't surprised at all. I felt like I couldn't be the only person this frustrated by the system," she says.

"I think they oughta be on the chain gang. They've been treated with kid gloves too long," says parent Gina Hintzen.

Problems with child support did not start with the new centralized system. The father of Hintzen's children owes her $9,000. She blames Durham County for not going after him.

"I work two jobs and it's been that way for five years plus to make up the difference and my children still don't have everything they need," says Hintzen.

"I may be able to make it but not much longer without these funds," says Wendy Sloan, whose support is lost in the new centralized system. She got an emergency check, but it was a small portion of what she is owed.

"I don't want to depends on this money anymore," she says. "I want the governor to hurry up and get this thing fixed or else. I just, I can't factor it into my budget."

TheDepartment of Human Serviceshas given people who are owed child support a letter which explains the situation to their creditors. A lot of parents say the letters are not helping.

More than anything, these parents would like to hear from the governor about this crisis. So far the he has not responded to WRAL's repeated requests for an interview.