Child maintenance provides essential help with the costs of raising a child – from the day-to-day expenses of food, clothing, travel, and school expenses, to the costs of running a child's main home and providing a decent quality of life. Money isn’t everything, but children don’t come free.
Less than half of single parents receive the child maintenance payments that they are entitled to. It is clear that the government is not doing enough to ensure the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) works for single parents.
Together with single parents, we’re campaigning for a fairer child maintenance system that puts kids first.
Why the campaign matters
Child maintenance can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of a child from a single parent family.
- Children living in single parent families are twice as likely to be living in poverty
- Child maintenance lifts one in five single parents out of poverty
- Child poverty is predicted to almost double among single parent families over the next few years, so regular financial support for children from their other parent matters more than ever.
I campaign to educate the British public, so that they understand how things really are, so that generations of single parents and children don't face the same battles.Single parent
What we’re campaigning for
The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) needs to change. We are campaigning for:
A fairer charging system
- Single parents on low incomes shouldn’t have to pay the £20 application fee
- The 4% collection charge should be scrapped
- Domestic abuse survivors should be given an option to be fast-tracked to ‘Collect & Pay’ and to be exempt from collection charges
Zero tolerance on non-payment
- The CMS must ensure maintenance is paid in full and on time, and take prompt enforcement action to deter non-payment
- The government cannot walk away from the task of collecting unpaid maintenance debts from Child Support Agency (CSA) and CMS cases
- Avoidance of maintenance should be treated in the same way as tax avoidance – the government should work with HMRC to close loopholes that allow parents to avoid payments or to pay less than they should.
We’re raising awareness of the improvements that urgently need to be made to the CMS. Play a part in our campaign:
- Spread the word on social media by sharing the campaign on Twitter or Facebook
- Tell your story about child maintenance by writing a campaign blog. Email our campaigns officer firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
- Write to your MP about the challenges you’re facing securing timely and accurate child maintenance
- Sign up to our campaigns to receive regular updates and ways to get involved.
Don't give up on fighting injustice.Single parent