UK Government

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (London): More children from separated families in the capital receive child maintenance than ever before

Press Release   •   Feb 11, 2011 10:20 GMT

London has seen the largest percentage increase in the number of children benefiting from child maintenance in the country

New figures out today show 75,290 children in London were receiving child support in the last quarter of 2010 – a 5.9% increase on the same period in 2009.

Overall CSA compliance rates have improved sharply since 2005 when more than a third of non-resident parents were ignoring their obligations in each quarter.

London children benefited from £99.9 million in maintenance in 2010, of which £11.8 million was recovered arrears.

Within London, big gains in parental compliance were seen in boroughs including Barnet (up 6.6%), Hackney (up 6.7%) and Tower Hamlets (5.9%). 

More than £1,146m in maintenance was collected or arranged in 2010, up from £1,135m in the previous year. Total unpaid arrears - accumulated over the entire 17-year lifetime of the Child Support Agency - remained stable at around £3.8 billion. The rounded headline arrears figure has remained unchanged since March 2008 as the Agency continues its strategy of arresting the growth in arrears.

“Most parents caring for children in London can now reasonably expect to receive what they are entitled to through the Agency”, said Child Maintenance Commissioner Stephen Geraghty. “Once regular payments are flowing, parents should consider whether a collaborative, family-based arrangement might work better for them. It could help to keep both parents involved in their children’s lives, benefiting them all in the long term. “

Information and support on all aspects of child maintenance and related issues is available free of charge from the Child Maintenance Options service by calling 0800 988 0988 or visitingwww.cmoptions.org.

The government has recently announced plans for the wholesale reform of the child maintenance system, creating new incentives for parents to make family-based arrangements. Those who cannot agree will be able to apply to the new statutory child maintenance service, which will be introduced from 2012.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The CSA’s Quarterly Summary of Statistics for October–December 2010 include new and additional information on the use of enforcement powers and details of the Agency’s performance by local authority area. The full release can be viewed here:http://www.childmaintenance.org/en/publications/statistics.htm
  2. The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is the body responsible for the child maintenance system in Great Britain. Its role is to promote financial responsibility for children, provide the Child Maintenance Options information and support service and to develop and direct the statutory child maintenance service currently provided by the Child Support Agency. Under the Public Bodies Bill now before Parliament the Commission will become an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions
  3. The Government’s proposed reforms of the child maintenance system are set out in DWP consultation paper ‘Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibility’ which can be viewed at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2011/strengthening-families.shtml
  4. All separated parents are already free to set up their own child maintenance arrangements and can access free information and support service from Child Maintenance Options atwww.cmoptions.org

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