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'At the moment, less than half of the UK’s two million single parent families receive child maintenance payments from their child’s other parent . We have consistently warned the government that the £20 charge to access the new service could deter even more parents from making child maintenance arrangements and these early figures seem to confirm our fears.The charity is also calling on the DWP to publish the quarterly data it is collecting on how many parents decide to make their own child maintenance arrangements after calling the government Child Maintenance Options helpline, rather than applying to the CMS.
Children in single parent families are already twice as likely to live in poverty as those in couple families . The government should not be putting barriers in the way of the three million children growing up in single parent families getting the support they need and we urge the DWP to drop the charge.'
'We don’t know whether or not parents who are put off by the collection charge are managing to make arrangements on their own. The government must be transparent about the impact its reforms are having.'All new child maintenance cases are now handled by the CMS instead of the CSA and all CSA cases are gradually being closed, with parents facing fees to reopen their case with the CMS. The Government wants to encourage as many separated parents as possible to come to their own private arrangements, but Gingerbread has warned that for many who have experienced relationship breakdown this simply isn’t realistic.