New Crown agency supports family maintenance
A new Crown agency has begun delivering family maintenance services and helping families and children who are entitled to support under maintenance orders or agreements.
As announced in May, the BC Family Maintenance Agency now has responsibility for the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, a service that was previously delivered under a contract model.
The program provides a free service that collects child or spousal support payments and sends money to those entitled to the maintenance. The transition to the new external agency follows an auditor general’s finding in 2017 that the previous tendering process for a contracted service created uncertainty about the future of the program.
In addition to providing certainty, the new model will help ensure that people meet their financial obligations for the benefit of children and will make it easier to add new services to help B.C. families.
The 37,000 plus families enrolled in the program will continue to receive services the same way they have in the past and do not need to take any action. Staff have transferred from the previous contractor to the new agency with no layoffs or redundancies.
Since its inception in 1988-89, $4.1 billion has been paid through the family maintenance program to more than 140,000 families and children who might not have received support payments otherwise.
More than 53,000 children are entitled to child support through the program, says a Ministry of Attorney General media release.