Another disaster foretold?: the case of the Child Support Agency

Roberts, Colette M. (1998) Another disaster foretold?: the case of the Child Support Agency. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Vol. 1) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (16MB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
PDF (Vol. 2) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (9MB) | Preview

Abstract

The Child Support Agency became operational in April 1993. The government hoped to introduce a system which would be clear and consistent and would deliver realistic amounts of child maintenance from more absent parents than under the old court and Department of Social Security systems. In so doing, the new system would reduce animosity between parents by removing child maintenance from any other divorce or separation negotiations and applying a fixed formula.

However, it quickly became obvious that the new system for the assessment, collection and enforcement of maintenance for children was failing. This study adds to the debate about why the system failed by looking at what influenced government policy, both in the setting up of the Agency and in the changes introduced between April 1993 and April 1996.

The study draws on evidence from politicians and political parties, the civil service, the voluntary sector and protest groups set up specifically to oppose the Agency. By outlining the attempts made by these various groups to influence the government and by closely examining the detail of the legislation and the formula used by the Agency, the study shows where the government responded positively to lobbying and whose influence was effectively ignored. The study also shows how the government managed to retain its commitment to reducing public expenditure and promoting "family values" as the basis of child support policy, but in practice failed to deliver on the main aims of the policy.

Having analysed the failings of the system, the study concludes with some positive suggestions for improvement.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Page, R.
Silburn, W.
Keywords: Child Support Agency, child support, Great Britain
Subjects: H Social sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 12783
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2012 09:24
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 10:53
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12783

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View