Volunteer group HER Grey Bruce has released the initial findings of its 'Survey on Parent Experiences with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) of Ontario,' for parents registered to receive their child support through the FRO. The survey, launched in May 2015, aims to reveal opportunities for meaningful improvements in the way child support is collected and distributed across the province.
HER Grey Bruce compiled its initial results on October 21st and today reveals that among Ontario parents registered to receive their child support through the FRO:
● 79% report that their child support is overdue.
● 54% are owed 12 months or more in overdue child support.
● 76% are supporting two children (on average) on a single family income.
● 67% are owed $2000 or more in overdue child support, while 23% are owed $20,000 or more.
"These statistics are disheartening, although not entirely surprising," said Ruby Frank, HER Grey Bruce cofounder. "We heard fromMPP Bill Walker last autumn that 80% of child support cases in Ontario are delinquent, and our findings certainly confirm that. When families don't receive the child support to which they are legally entitled, the children involved are the ones
who suffer."
HER Grey Bruce launched the survey alongside a 138-page educational resource for parents, called " Get to Know FRO ." Published to SlideShare and the HER Grey Bruce website, the ebook is free to access online, or download and print.
"We had two goals," said Miranda Miller, FRO project coordinator with HER Grey Bruce. "First, we wanted to help Ontario parents navigate the FRO system and understand their rights so they can better advocate for their families. Second, we hoped to learn more about the extent to which Ontario families are adversely affected when child support is missing or late, and to identify where improvements could be made in the FRO system."
As part of the initial results release, HER Grey Bruce launched a social media campaign designed to raise awareness of the difficulties families face when child support is late or unpaid. Currently, 371,000 Ontario children live in poverty, including 38% of the children of single mothers, according to recent data from Campaign 2000 . The amount of child support owing to Ontario families is an estimated $2.1 billion.
In June, HER Grey Bruce received a letter from the Minister of Community and Social Services thanking them for producing the 'Get to Know FRO' resource and promising it was being reviewed by ministry officials, to help inform improvements in the way child support is administered across the province. HER Grey Bruce plans to share their survey findings with the Minister and the Family Responsibility Office, as part of that process.  The survey remains open for responses until January 15, 2016, at which time all results will be included in a final report.
Ontario recipients of child support registered with the Family Responsibility Office are encouraged to complete the survey here.
source:media release, HER Grey Bruce<



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