Children: Maintenance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th February 2013.

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Photo of Anne Begg Anne Begg Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what amount of child maintenance has to be paid, over what period, and with what degree of regularity, for a child maintenance arrangement, whether private or statutory, to be judged by his Department as (a) compliant or (b) effective.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Statutory cases administered through the collection service are recorded as compliant, and therefore effective, when a scheduled payment has been received through the collection service in the preceding quarter.

Statutory cases recorded as Maintenance Direct at the end of a quarter are considered compliant and therefore effective. The assumption for Maintenance Direct cases is that the amount of child maintenance calculated is being paid and received, and that one of the parents would contact us if their Maintenance Direct arrangement was no longer working.

Statutory scheme performance is reported on a quarterly basis in the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics which is available here:

Child Maintenance Options clients' circumstances are tracked through a quarterly representative survey. Clients are considered to have an effective family-based maintenance arrangement when they report that a regular (or ad hoc) financial arrangement is in place where at least some of the agreed amount is always/usually received on time and/or where the arrangement is working very/fairly well.

Details of the Child Maintenance Options outcomes survey are available here:

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