Local News in Brief : Plan OKd to Collect More Child Support

Federal, state and county officials have agreed to add more workers and turn over some government work to private firms in an effort to improve Los Angeles County's beleaguered system of collecting child support payments from recalcitrant parents.

Bob Horel, deputy director of the state Department of Social Services, said about 150 case workers and child-support payment collectors will be hired by the county as soon as possible by the district attorney's office, which administers the collection program. Within the next 30 days, Horel said, the county also will seek bids on new computer software to streamline billing and ease a backlog in uncollected payments. Additional contracts will be awarded later for process serving and blood testing.

Los Angeles County has been under fire from federal, state and local critics for its poor record in collecting child support payments.

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