It’s been two months since Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced his deadbeat dad social media shaming campaign, and according to his office, it’s working.
“Initially it was really a way to get the information out to the public,” Daniel Scarpinato with the governor’s office said. “It ended up far exceeding our expectations in terms of public engagement.”
In January, Ducey announced the state would pressure deadbeat dads to make child support payments by naming them and posting their photo on social media.
“For fathers out there who aren’t meeting their obligations, we also have a plan,” he said. “I’m talking to deadbeat dads. For too long, you’ve been able to remain anonymous — able to skirt your financial and legal responsibilities with no shame — not anymore.”
Come March, the program is working.
Scarpinato said one of the state’s top 10 most-wanted child support evaders, who had not paid in nearly a year, voluntarily went to court to begin making payments because of the program.
“Simply the threat of this out there is resulting in cases that we’re hearing from moms,” he said. “The fathers of their children [are] being a lot more aware of paying they owe their kids.”
Scarpinato said the governor’s office has received hundreds of tips since the program’s inception.
“We’ve received about 300 tips — either from people who may have information about an individual or who want to get us information about someone — who they think could fall in this category,” he said.
Despite the success of the program, Scarpinato said Arizona deadbeat dads still owe “billions of dollars.”
Ducey’s program does not put the pressure on all dads who owe child support. Instead, it targets those who owe a substantial amount, not have paid in six-months or have an outstanding child support warrant.
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