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15% of parents contacting Child Maintenance Options choose an ‘effective’ family-based arrangement

41,000 children benefited from such arrangements in 2013/14

A report by the Department for Work and Pensions has produced numbers and percentages of (what it terms) effective family-based arrangements made by separated parents after contacting the Child Maintenance Options service. 

Child Maintenance Options provides a free advice service that offers separated parents information on child maintenance arrangement through private or statutory means.

Effectiveness of Child Maintenance Options is measured through regular in-house surveys whose results are reported in this publication.

According to the report, 15% of parents contacting Child Maintenance Options choose an effective family-based arrangement.

Over the course of 2013/14 41,000 children benefited from an effective family-based (or private) arrangement, secured after contact with Child Maintenance Options. 183,000 children have benefited in this way since the creation of the Child Maintenance Options service, in 2008.

For the purposes of the above figures, an effective family-based arrangement is defined as, either:

"• A regular financial arrangement where at least some of the agreed amount is always/usually received on time and whether the parent considers the arrangement to be working very/fairly well; or

• An ad hoc arrangement which includes a financial element (or transaction in kind e.g. school uniform) and whether the parent considers the arrangement to be working very/fairly well." (our emphasis)

The report says that Child Maintenance Options has maintained a steady performance over 2013/14, despite becoming the mandatory gateway for accessing the statutory Child Maintenance Service.

The report is here.

12/12/14