|We've got NEWS|
|Monday, January 4, 1999 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
DWD News Office
Kickoff of new statewide
child support system "looks good"
Madison, Wis. Wisconsins kickoff of the first-ever statewide child support payment system was successful Monday, despite the weekend blizzard.
"Everything looks good so far," said J. Jean Rogers, Economic Support Division administrator in the State Department of Workforce Development.
"We successfully processed the first 4,000 pieces of mail over the weekend before the snowstorm hit," Rogers said, "which is about two-thirds of the number we expect to see on a normal day. That made for a good test."
"It does appear as if the blizzard delayed our receipt today of mail, which is understandable because of the severe weather conditions throughout much of the state Saturday and Sunday. We expect to receive between 700-900 pieces of mail today, well below the 6,000 or so we would have otherwise expected.
"That should make for a heavy workload on Tuesday. It also will mean our mailing of checks to those custodial parents also will be delayed. We still expect to turn around payments within 24 hours of the time we receive them, regardless of the weather."
She said the first 4,700 or so checks are scheduled to be mailed to custodial parents Tuesday morning from Firstar Bank in Milwaukee, as planned.
Rogers said a new mainframe computer to run the Kids Information Data System (KIDS) also was successfully installed by the State Administration Department on schedule.
That system records all data about each child support case and payments, and is a critical part of the payment system. "The KIDS system was brought up on time this morning, " Rogers said.
"Today we are doing a final test of our new toll-free automated telephone information system which is scheduled for kickoff at midnight tonight.
"Initially, it will be English language only. As soon as user acceptance testing is completed in the next few days, we will add Spanish and Hmong translations. We expect information in Spanish to be available by the end of this week. The Hmong translation will be ready by Jan. 15 at the latest."
The toll-free information number is 1-800-991-5530 (or 414/615-2400 for those in the Milwaukee area). It will operate 23 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist child support payers and recipients. Staff will be available during business hours to answer more-complicated questions.