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Bladen County will have a Child Support Amnesty Day on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 9:30 a.m. The event is a collaborative effort between the Bladen County Department of Social Services Child Support Division, Johnson Law Firm, and the Bladen County Courts.

“It was Judge Scott Ussery’s idea,” said Child Support Supervisor Martha Howe.

She said that Ussery talked about the idea when they were in court recently.

“Several other counties have done this,” said Howe.

She said those counties have conducted Child Support Amnesty Days on several occasions.

Howe said that Child Support Services has a list of people who have outstanding warrants for their arrest for failing to pay their child support. She said the child Support Amnesty Day is a day set aside to allow them to come forward and clear up the order for arrest. Many of the names on the list have not been located.

“The sheriff has not been able to locate them,” said Howe.

She said that the way the Child Support Amnesty Day will work is that folks are encouraged to contact their Child Support agent to learn if they qualify. If you qualify, you will be required to appear in court on December 8 and go through the court process and to make a one-time payment of $500. Howe stressed you will not be arrested on that day.

She said once you go through the court process and make the initial $500 payment, the child support division will work with you to help you begin making your child support payments on a regular basis.

Howe said that Vocational Rehab and NC Works will also be available to help those folks that need a job.

“We would rather they are working and paying their child support on a regular basis than sitting in jail,” said Howe.

She said some of the cases are old ones that have been on the docket for years. Howe said her staff cannot do anything with the cases until the person takes care of their order of arrest.

Howe said those that appear on December 8 will not face arrest and their child support payments will remain the same.

To find out  if you qualify for the Child Support Amnesty Day, contact your Child Support agent by calling 910-862-6800.

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