Support group claims CSA fees are damaging to families

February 24, 2011

Gingerbread, the support group that exists for the sake of one parent households, has recently spoken out against the introduction of fees for use of the child support agency.

The fee is to be introduced as an attempt to encourage communication between parents, with the hope that they will be more likely to sort out their differences and issues themselves rather than involving the CSA. However, Gingerbread claims that this could result in many parents being less well off.

At the moment, something around 1.1 million parents are dependent on the child support agency to get their child maintenance payments from their ex-partner. The worry is that individuals such as this may be unable to sort out their differences, so they could be left without any child maintenance payments at all, especially if they cannot afford the fee.

In fact, research done by the government somewhat supports Gingerbread’s claims. This research suggests that 64% of single parents do not feel confident that they would be able to make a deal privately with the other parent.

Additionally, Gingerbread is also concerned about those parents who do manage to make a deal. They are worried that, without state intervention, payments may not be regular, or may be much lower than they otherwise would be. The support group has had many worried calls from parents in relation to these changes, and they fear the end result could be that children end up suffering even more, both financially and emotionally, due to having to endure more parental arguments.


  • CookieMonster says:

    If the government proposals are read properly people would see that parents will be encouraged to come to a private agreement that is mutually sustainable for both parents, support will be offered via online and telephone advice and mediation, the costs will only be applicable when all other attempts have failed. Vunerable families will be offered the service at a reduced rate of for free.

    This system will empower parents to support their children without dictation from a faceless government system that cannot and will not take each individual case on its own merits.

    Yes there will still be NRP’s who deliberately avoid the charges and yes there will be PWC’s who always want more money than is reasonably affordable but we have that on the current system and the CSA do not hunt down the real “deadbeat dads” they go for the honest hardworking dads who are easy to keep tabs on and the PWC’s who want to try and squeeze every last penny out of their ex’s might think twice if they have to pay for the service.

    The whole idea of the change in the system is to encourage parents to be parents and actually work these things out like adults, advice and support will be offered free of charge but the CSA will no longer be the first port of call in arranging child maintenance payments which judging by the stories on this site can only be a positive thing.

  • Paul Greenacre says:

    Hi I have custody of 2 children which i get no CSA for as the mother does not work , I also have an older daughter who is 16 and a younger daughter which is 7, My youngest lives in Sunderland with her mum and she has Stopped me from seeing my Daughter since September last year. I would love to sort payments out in an amicable way but my ex does not want to know, Will i get penalized becuase she wont co operate under this new scheme ?.

  • John says:

    The whole ethos of the CSA is damaging families. Introducing fees for what? To take even more money from parents tangled up in this shambles!

  • CookieMonster says:

    @ Paul, take a look at page 7 in the strengthening families document

    It is encouraging parents to come to an amicable agreement before you can even access the CSA.

  • sarah says:


    So the NRP who have been in prison – are completely dangerous and I want nothing to do with my ex – what I am meant to be a GROWN UP!!!

    Cookiemonster – you need to get with the real world..

    there will be too many protests I would imagine if this happens anyway.. and the government ultimately will pay more in benefits to people who are worse off..

    well done david cameron!

  • michelle says:

    The government seriously need to wise up im on benefits and i def cant come face to face with my ex,as his family have very strong reglion beliefs. I want my ex to pay child matience this is his child as well as mine and i need support not paying fees. He has deneyed my child and still does. CSA NEED to do their job right instead off thinking off money what about the poor children that have to suffer knowing their dads dont give a toss and can get away with this. Women get treated very unfair i had the most difficult pregnancy with my ex now he can get off not paying child matience. Im angry and upset its hard enought for a woman to give out details off the father never mind having to pay stupid fees. Get the men for once to pay and do the right thing,dont make the women suffer anymore. HAVE A HEART PLEASE

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