Monday, 14 February 2011
‘Child support fees hurt children,' says Gingerbread
Gingerbread launches campaign
Gingerbread, the support group for one parent families, is warning that government plans to charge for the child support scheme will leave many single parents without money for their children. Current statistics, it says, show that over 1.1 million single parents currently depend on the state to get maintenance from their former partners but under new proposals they could be set adrift to cope on their own.
Government research shows that 64% of parents caring for children and using the Child Support Agency are not confident that they could make private child maintenance arrangements with their ex-partner, even with the promised improved information and guidance services. Even where single parents are able to negotiate an informal arrangement with their ex, Gingerbread warns that they will be at risk of low, sporadic and unenforceable private payments.
Gingerbread's Chief Executive Fiona Weir said:
"The government wants parents to make their own child maintenance arrangements but for many families that just isn't possible. Informal agreements can be scuppered by conflict, lack of trust or a non-resident parent's reluctance to pay. While Gingerbread is in favour of providing greater support to separating parents to help them cooperate over arrangements, imposing charges on those who can't will only end up hurting children."
Gingerbread has already received calls and online comments from many single parents who are outraged at these proposals, and is launching a campaign to encourage single parents to take action and make their voices heard.
More information can be accessed on Gingerbread's website.