Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 7 June 2011.

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Photo of Sheila Gilmore Sheila Gilmore Labour, Edinburgh East

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much he expects to allocate from the annual budget for information and support through the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to supplement grant funding to relationship support services with respect to family separation in the next four years.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

As set out in the Government consultation on child maintenance, previous administration have not before had a co-ordinated Government approach to family support. We are working with Department for Education, Ministry of Justice and devolved Administrations to build evidence of what support works for different families. Then we will be able to make sure resources are being used to best effect.

The Department for Education is investing £30 million in relationship support services over the next four years, including their grant funding to voluntary and community sector organisations to support separating couples. We will be working with the Department for Education to ensure the Government approach is as joined up as possible. DWP currently spends around £5.6 million a year on information and support provided through the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

The Government consultation on child maintenance ended on 7 April and we are currently considering the responses received. We plan to publish the Government response to this consultation in July.

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