Children: Maintenance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parent families eligible to receive child support benefit do not receive the benefit because the father does not contribute to the Child Support Agency.

Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to my right hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 7 June 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many lone parent families eligible to receive Child Support benefit do not receive the benefit because the father does not contribute to the Child Support Agency.

In order to ensure that a complete answer is provided clarification was obtained from your office to ascertain the intent of the question. It was agreed that you required the volume of cases where child maintenance is not received from the non-resident parent. The information requested can be obtained from table 7.1 of the March 2007 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics by deducting the number of cases received from the number of cases charged.

A copy of this is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the Internet via the following link: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_mar07.asp.

The Agency's management information is case based and relates to all parents with care, which means lone parent families cannot be isolated.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

CSA Table 7.1: Case Compliance—amended to include total cases where maintenance not received( 1)
Quarter ending March 2007 Number/percentage
Overall Agency
Total cases charged 509,100
Total cases received 338,500
Case compliance (percentage) 66
Total cases not received 170,600
(1) This table shows the number of cases that were charged money via the Agency's collection service over a three month period and the number of cases from which a payment was received from over the same period.

Notes:

1. The table above includes those old-scheme cases with either a Full Maintenance Assessment or an Interim Maintenance Assessment; plus those new-scheme cases with either a Full Maintenance Calculation, or a Default Maintenance Decision. New-scheme cases being processed clerically are excluded from this analysis. New scheme cases classed as maintenance direct at the end of the month are excluded.

2. Cases are classed as compliant if they are currently open, and have been charged and paid money via the collection service (either regular maintenance and/or arrears) over the preceding quarter.

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