Well it has again been far too long since I have seen this blank page.
We started this blog 2 years ago in hopes to reach out to other single mothers struggling the same way we were. We decided to touch on everyday topics that a typical single mother would go through on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. We have done everything from custody to child support and we truly hoped that some readers would gain some insight from what we had to say and relate to our stories.
We have been trying to figure out how to get a website up and running to allow single parents to access our services and be able to get referrals to other webpages such as government funding, subsidy and legal support. We want to have a place where single parents can go and access everything in one shot. We also want to have support forums up and running for people to post their stories and others to respond in a supportive and understanding way. Our long term goal is to open an office and have services readily available such as counselling, parenting seminars, resume building, subsidy education and legal advice regarding support and custody.
Tonight I did an interview with a major news station here in Canada. CBC news found our blog and read our posts and wanted to do an interview with me on their up coming piece on Child Support in Ontario. Did you know that 82% of Ontario payees are in arrears and within those 82% over 2 BILLION DOLLARS is owing to the receivers of child support. 97% of single parents are mothers which means the statistic that those payees are fathers are extremely high. (SO KUDOS TO THE DADS DOING IT ON THEIR OWN). Our government has a service called the Family Responsibility Office (Referred to as FRO from here on out) there are 450 people that work for FRO here in ontario and over 182,000 case files. That means each worker is assigned to over 404 cases! So FRO is supposed to implement the child support owed and then reenforce consequences for those who do not pay. But with that many case files per person if a recipient is not on top of their file their file ends up going to the bottom of the pile. Which means that years can go by without any reenforcement of payment. Consequences enforced here in Ontario begin with a suspension of drivers licence, then they confiscate a passport, the last step would be a charge and jail time but that is only at the most extreme measures. So, FRO has 404 files per case manager and 82% are not paying their child support and in arrears. FRO contacts the payee in arrears and they arrange a playment plan if the payee is unable to pay in full. The minimum payment is $2 and all a payee has to do is pay $2 towards their arrears and they are not subjected to the consequences that are supposed to be enforced because, well they are paying towards their support! IS THAT NOT INSANE!!!! How can a child live off of $2 a month. So the majority of our single parents and their children are living on or below the poverty line because there is no absolute consequence for the payees when they don't pay. These are our children, our future! Its like saying "Hey, the government says you have to pay your taxes but if you don't then there wouldn't be a consequence" WOULD ANYONE PAY THERE TAXES? NO!!!! This is the exact same, if there isn't a consequence for not paying support why the hell should the father pay? Its sick and twisted and our government needs to stand up and take more action. More funding, more employees and definitely more support!
This interview was a breakthrough for our org/group and because I am so passionate about this I feel that I had a lot to contribute to this topic. If you live in Canada check out the interview on Wednesday at 5-630 central time.
Leave a comment if you are going through something like this or have experienced this in the past. We need people to stand up and speak up about this issue it is more extreme then anyone could ever imagine. Even myself, who has been educated on child support and the bylaws was completely shocked at the numbers and statistics!!
Here is a sneak peak of our interview :)