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Child Maintenance


The Child Maintenance Service (CMS)  - set up in 2012 to replace the previous Child Support Agency - is for separated families who have not been able to reach a private arrangement about how their children’s living costs will be paid.

The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that £934 million of statutory child maintenance was paid between parents using the CMS in 2019-20, at a net cost of £146 million.

Billions of pounds of unpaid child maintenance debt that remained from the previous CSA schemes has been written off, and in June 2021 the House of Commons Library showed that unpaid child support under the replacement CMS now stood at £421.5 million.  

The Committee will question senior officials at DWP on the value for money of the child maintenance system, including:

  • whether the Department effectively managed the wind-down of the previous CSA schemes;
  • whether the CMS is achieving its objectives; and
  • whether the Department manages its resources effectively to deliver a high-quality service through the CMS.

If you have new evidence on these issues please submit it here by Wednesday 9 March 2022 18:00.

Please note that the Committee cannot investigate or take up any individual cases or claims – evidence submitted will be considered to inform questioning to the DWP and the inquiry’s conclusions.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Wednesday 9 March 2022.

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  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 5776 (General enquiries). For all media enquiries please contact Jessica Bridges Palmer / 07917488489
  • Address: Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA