BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — One out of every three children in Ohio are part of the child support system.

In Belmont County, they have 3,200 cases being handled by 13 employees at the county Department of Job and Family Services.

They were recognized on August 16, at the Belmont County Commission meeting and honored for child support awareness month.

They no longer put up wanted posters in rest areas with the pictures of non-payers of child support.

These days they use a kinder, gentler approach.

“We start with the basics. We go back to the softer approach of picking up our phone and contacting clients to see what their barriers may be, why they’re not paying, what we can do as far as help them seek work with Ohio Means Jobs. We have an incentive program if they would go and find employment and last for three months. We have an initiative that we can give them gas vouchers and things of that nature.”

Cindy Berry | Belmont County Child Support Administrator

If that doesn’t work, they can seize the non-payer’s lottery winnings, they can freeze and seize their bank accounts, retirement accounts and tax refunds.

They can take their passport, suspend their driver’s license, and even take their hunting and fishing license.

They can send them to jail for 30, 60 or 90 days.

They say child support enforcement is a collaborative effort with the sheriff’s department, prosecutor’s office and the courts.