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Minister says that child support arrangements have ‘turned a corner’

Steve Webb acclaims acceptance by separated parents of financial responsibility for their children

The minister responsible for child maintenance has hailed the progress made in separated parents accepting financial responsibility for their children. At the Children and Young People's Conference in London he said that Britain has in recent years "turned an important corner".

Steve Webb celebrated the fact that more than four in five separated parents are now paying towards their children through the Child Support Agency (CSA). That represents an increase from around two in three parents paying towards their children five years ago. He said that the reforms to the child maintenance system are essential to get more parents working together.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:

"That more separated parents than ever are now paying towards the upbringing of their children within the CSA shows that with a little help and support, thousands of parents could be coming to their own flexible arrangements for their children. Ultimately, this is better for parents and children alike."

At the end of this year the Child Support Agency will stop accepting new applications and cases will gradually close over the next 3 years. In the meantime, up to £20 million is being invested into new family support services, with projects across the country being funded to help separated parents communicate better, work together and support their children.

Steve Webb continued:

"Britain has turned an important corner in recent years in becoming a country where taking financial responsibility for your children after a break up is the normal thing to do. Those parents who think otherwise are a small and dwindling minority. What we're trying to do is to channel that commitment to empower parents to take control of their own lives and come to their own family-based arrangements to support their children."