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Children in poverty and the Child Maintenance Service: Work and Pensions Committee to hold first oral evidence session

2 September 2022

The Work and Pensions Committee will hear from support organisations and policy experts in the first oral evidence session of the inquiry into Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and the financial support arrangements for children and young people in separated families.

Purpose of the session

The inquiry is part of the Committee’s work on children in poverty and is exploring how the DWP might improve the support provided by the CMS. It is also examining the barriers parents face when trying to access help as well as how the system interacts with wider social security, including Universal Credit.

The session will explore why child poverty is more prevalent in separated families and how the CMS and other arrangements support children from such families.

Reforms in 2012 were aimed at encouraging families where one of the parents does not live with the child to create their own arrangements for the payment of support and reduce the use of the government service. While family-based arrangements have increased and use of the CMS has fallen, the estimated proportion of separated families without any arrangements in place has risen from 25% in 2011/12 to 44% in 2019/20.

In March, the National Audit Office published a report on child maintenance calling on the DWP to do more to ensure families could easily use the CMS.


Wednesday 7 September, Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

From 9.30am:

  • Meghan Meek-O’Connor, Senior Policy Advisor, Save the Children 
  • Cristina Odone, Head of the Family Policy Unit, Centre for Social Justice 

From 10.15am:

  • Victoria Benson, CEO, Gingerbread 
  • Caitlin Logan, Policy, Research and Influencing Lead, One Parent Families Scotland
  • Michael Lewkowicz, Director of Communications, Families Need Fathers

Further information

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