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16 September 2013

Government claims more separated parents now paying child maintenance

A press release from the Department of Work and Pensions says that the minister responsible for child maintenance will today hail the progress that has been made in separated parents accepting financial responsibility for their children.

At a key summit on children and young people he will say Britain has in recent years ‘turned an important corner.’

Speaking to leading academics, senior lawyers, social workers and children’s charities at the Children and Young People’s Conference in London, Steve Webb will celebrate the fact that more than 4 in 5 separated parents are now paying towards their children through the Child Support Agency (CSA). That’s up from around 2 in 3 parents paying towards their children 5 years ago. He will say the reforms to the child maintenance system are essential to get more parents working together.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:

‘That more separated parents than ever are now paying towards the upbringing of their children within the CSA shows that with a little help and support, thousands of parents could be coming to their own flexible arrangements for their children. Ultimately, this is better for parents and children alike.’

The government has embarked on the biggest reform to the child support system in a generation, with a new focus on parental collaboration rather than reliance on the state for assistance.

At the end of this year the Child Support Agency will stop accepting new applications and cases will gradually close over the next 3 years.

In the meantime, up to £20 million is being invested into new family support services, with projects across the country being funded to help separated parents communicate better, work together and support their children.

More than a quarter of a million parents are already in the process of receiving help to work out their finances for their children themselves. And more funding is due to be announced later this year.