Gender Gap Closing In Neglected Child Support Cases

Stereotypically, they're called "Deadbeat Dads", but one Eastern Kentucky sheriff's department says they're arresting nearly as many women as men in child support cases. The region's drug problem may have some women neglecting their children and the law.

For Perry County Chief Deputy Sheriff Randall Poff, a lot can change in his line of work over the course of just a few years.

"The term deadbeat dad was coined, but what we've seen developing over the last several years is the gap in the gender is closing up," Poff said.

What Poff and child support enforcement groups are seeing are not just men, but women getting arrested for negligent child support.

Gretta Napier says she was told she owed two thousand dollars in back child support.

"I hadn't got no papers I paid for. I'd have made an effort to pay for my child because I love him very much and I'd make sure he had what he needed," Napier said.

But for those who work to enforce child support every day, certain trends have come out as the region has changed.

"Women are more absent now in homes due to drug related issues. Most children go in and out of foster care so they go and live with grandparents while the parents are absent," said Tammy Williams with the Child Support Enforcement.

Leaving more children in the cold and more mothers behind jail doors.

Perry County Sheriff deputies say they made five arrests Thursday today and that two of those were women.

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