SC child support system about ready after 22 years

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina is nearing completion of a centralized computer system to help track deadbeat parents and enforce child support payments, 22 years after federal law required it.

South Carolina is the last state to comply with the 1988 law. The state has paid $72 million in federal penalties since missing a 1997 deadline. South Carolina must pay another $10.5 million in the coming fiscal year.

That's money officials say is desperately needed as deep budget cuts continue.

Department of Social Services officials are excited about the launch of the statewide, Web-based system in fall 2011.

It will centralize what are now 47 separate networks maintained by the agency and each county's clerk of court.

Officials say single parents will get the money owed them much more quickly.

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