Missing a trick? The role of child maintenance in tackling child poverty in single parent households

Published on 18 January 2011

Summary

Analysis commissioned by Gingerbread shows that maximising the uptake of child maintenance would have a significant impact on the levels of child poverty experienced by single parents. These findings challenge government assumptions that child maintenance payments do not make a significant contribution to lifting children out of poverty.

Key findings

  • If all parents living apart from their children met their child maintenance responsibilities there could be a significant impact on the UK child poverty rate.
  • Gingerbread is calling on the government to look again at proposed changes to the child maintenance system, designed to make access to the statutory scheme more difficult and expensive; particularly proposals to charge single parents both entry fees and continuing collection fees.
  • We believe the government must do more to help all separated families put in place effective child maintenance arrangements, including those who are unable to make satisfactory private agreements, so that vital financial support is provided to all of the 3 million children in single parent families.