The CSA is just interested in money, not families

November 3, 2012

I am partner to nrp, and new to this catastrophic outfit that have the bare cheek to call themselves child support a*****.

It did not take me long to work out terminology and after reading both sides of this sorry outfit. I have 1 conclusion, this madness has to stop full stop. It is only money orientated and not representing real life circumstance.

Why are contributions not made directly to children in form of bank account like the government trust fund. It is pure greed Cameron and his cronies bleet on about making work pay,with this system in place, it pays not to work. How else can.they justify taking ctc,which is paid to make up.for shortfall on income to pay for said child/children who already in reciept of this benefit, whilst I find these forums informative, it remains just that as well as a place to vent frustration action needs to be taken,and will be taking further action,there is legal lolp hole here, and the csa needs to be exposed after all,it’s meant to be about our children right, so it’s about time the csa get this right and stop your financial gain from such a sensitive issue, you government pen pushers should be ashamed of your yourselves.

You just have not a clue. Try walking a day in our very poor and worn out shoes.


  • brett says:

    I agree with what you say about the current government. However it was the Labour government under Blair and Brown that gave the CSA these extra powers.

  • sarah Briers says:

    Csa are above the government, they have been given too much power years ago and now out of control believe me our mp has a direct line to them n still gets fobbed off!!

  • Alice says:

    the simple reason why child maintenance is not paid to the parent with care and not to the child by way of a trust fund account is that child maintenance is to be used to support the child now – of course there are children who’s parent with care is financially in a position be able to put the money into an account/trust fund for use by the child when they are older, and I personally have no problem with that, whether the money collected by the CSA and paid to the parent with care is used to put food on the table or shoes on their child’s feet now or banked towards the cost of further education when the child should not be an issue. Almost every non-resident parent says there is nothing they would not do for their child but when asked to pay maintenance for that child it suddenly becomes a major problem for them

  • Yes alice..but you dont pay the CSA exactly how much they require, without fail..then receive begging text messages from the children who not receive that money..and be told by the CSA you are in “ARREARS” which they dop not quantify and cannot be over-turned in the High Court because the CSA operate ABOVE UK LAW!!!>

  • Sally says:

    @ Alice….yet again you miss the point entirely about NRP having a problem when it comes to paying child maintenance!!!!

    Most NRP’s DO NOT, I. WILL. REPEAT. FOR. YOUR. BENEFIT…… DO NOT have a problem paying child maintenance for their child(ren), they do have a problem with the amount the CSA dictate should be paid on the basis that the cirteria is unfair i.e.

    1) CSA do not consider essential outgoings of the NRP during the assessement (after 2003) – this has left thousands and thousand of NRPs destitute!
    2) CSA allows the PWC to reduce overnight stays with the NRP (to get more money) without questioning whether it’s in the best interests of the child or not.
    3) CSA penalise the NRP’s new family by taking a % of their CTC (taking from one child to give to another???)!!!

    I completely agree with everything the author has said but unfortunately as Sarah said…. the CSA is above the Law and people like you (Alice) who work for the CSA stigmatise decent, hard working NRP’s with the tag of ‘uncompliant’ because you think ‘they have a problem paying for their children’…. open your eyes!! if you want to help people on this forum… recommend changes to the company you work for.

  • Alice says:

    @ Sally I do not feel that i missed the point entirely, the question was why is child maintenance not paid into a trust fund and the answer remains, the money collected by the csa is for the benefit of the child and in many cases that means the pwc needs this for the essential costs now and not at some point in the future. I apologise for my sweeping statement in saying ‘all non resident parent … ‘ on reflection I should have said ‘many non resident parents …’ as I agree that there are many thousands of nrp’s who are more than happy to pay for their child/children.

    in response to your list of point regarding pwc’s reducing the overnight care of the child/children in order to obtain a higher payment of regular maintenance this is unfortunate and I do not condone any pwc restricting the overnight care so that the nrp does not qualify for a shared care allowance, however the shared care allowance is awarded on the basis of the nrp’s actual overnight stays and this is cannot be given if the child/children do not stay overnight with the nrp for the required amount of nights

    in response to point 3 regarding CTC being used as income for the purposes of a maintenance calculation, on the face of it this does immediately appear unfair – often referred to as a child paying for another child. If you look beyond this however and consider that the nrp is given an allowance for any children living in his household before his income is assessed (and this is often higher than the proportion of the maintenance calculation is increased by on including the CTC) then it is not as unfair as it initially appears. The allowance given for children living in the nrp’s household is awarded regardless of whether those children are his or not, as such it could be argued that the qualifying child is being penalised by the nrp’s new family.

    Child support is not black and white, there are thousands of shade of grey, with millions of scenarios and the CSA can only work in accordance with the legislation they have been given to work by. It is impossible to legislate for every scenario and as such there will always be cases where the outcome is 100% fair and just and I do not deny that some nrp’s are in a no win situation, but neither do I deny that all pwc’s get the best outcome either.

  • Sally says:

    @ Alice, thank you for replying, I really do appreciate it and you explain the situation very well but for me if the criteria was realistic, we wouldn’t be in these situation.

    I understand the principle around overnight stays but the NRP has absolutely no control over this. So many PWCs do everything in their power to prevent the child from staying over. I’m not sure what the answer is but this criteria is being abused by most PWC (as you will know by the amount of complaints recieved) and the most important part is that the kids are missing out on quality time with the NRP (regardless of the financial implications).

    I feel that the CSA should take into account the PWC income too as they recieve CTC for their child(ren) but are allowed to keep it all (unless their partner is the father to a child who does not live with him)…

    I also feel that one of the biggest problems with the CSA is the staff, the information they provide is inconsisent and quite often wrong (not just my opinion or experience – thousands of complaints to the CSA will support this statement) but nothing seems to be done about it. Are the staff provided with the appropriate training to deal with these situations without jumping to the wrong conclusion?

    I realise you don’t have the answers but it would be great to know that someone who works for the CSA is communicating the probems people have with the system and to know that something is being done…

  • Alice says:

    @ Sally – the issue of shared care is a very very difficult one, it relies on bother parties being reasonable and honest and neither party manipulating the situation for financial gain. I appreciate that there are a number of pwcs who will restrict the overnight stays in order to prevent the nrp being awarded a shared care allowance and I agree it is not fair to the child/children involved. On the other hand if the CSA had the option to award shared care on the basis of the nights the nrp ‘should’ have overnight care then this is open to abuse by nrp’s too – often shared care evidence from an nrp will be submitted in the form of a court order granted for access, this on the face of it sounds like good sound evidence, however a court order is the theory of which nights the qc(s) should stay with the NRP, but in practice it is not always adhered to, and this could be down to either the NRP cancelling nights or the PWC, or both … to be honest shared care disputes are the nightmare of all CSA staff as there is no way they can ‘prove’ where a child stayed on a particular night. Ofetn when you actually look at the figures involved teh shared care allowance awarded can literally be a couple of pounds per week, if you offset that against just the cost of what an NRP would spend on an evening meal for the child let alone any cost for an activity they do – movie rental or out to soft play etc then the shared care allowance does not go anywhere near what they would be spending. There is no easy answer to the shared care issue – lets not even get into the issue of discussing the fairness/unfairness of a case where they nrp/pwc have 50/50 care of child/children as it still results in one party having to be a nrp and liable to pay even though they have the dhild(ren) the same amount of time as the pwc and the pwc is also entitled to claim all the CTCs etc, that really is a minefield.

    The issue of including CTC is a major contention and I personally have mixed feelings on that one – yes it is to an extent taking some portion of money awarded for the benefit of a child to pay for another child, but as previously stated the counter arguement is that an nrp’s partner’s children are considered 1st and his own children are given less … again there is no easy answer – as with the shared care issue lets not get into the connotation of when the new partner is claiming CM and the NRP is awarded a ROC allowance and the ex partner has a new partner who is also paying CM but claiming ROC allowance … that one can end up in knots.

    With regards to the CSA considering the PWcs income, that was part of the criteria of the Old Rules system and that opened up so many cans of worms that the govt had no option but to revise the whole criteria and they came up with the current New Rules system … as I said previously with the best will in the world there is never going to point where a legislation is suited to every individual case.

    The new system which is soon to be introduced is a whole new kettle of fish, as I understand it there will be more interaction between the CSA and HRMC, the calculation will be based on the last years earnings. A request for a new calculation due to change of circs will require the income to change up or down will require the income to change up or down by a larger degree than current scheme cases (currently it has to change by 5%) – it will benefit nrps who work variable hours, seasonal overtime and such, and it will benefit pwc’s in cases where nrp’s inform the agency of their ‘main’ income but work a 2nd job .. it will of course not be able to do anything about cases where NRPs work cash in hand but again no system is ever going to be able to cover everything.

  • Alice says:

    sorry, forgot to reply in response to the staff and their training – the job itself is very very difficult to teach in a training classroom – there is extensive training given and this is mainly on the legislation, how to use the system and how to work out effective dates, what evidence you need to ask for and what will or won’t be considered as acceptable evidence etc – the actual learning the job is done by doing the job to be honest. I am not saying you will get a rookie straight out of training let loose on cases and allowed to do as they feel fit – all trainees will be put into consolidation whereby they are given a live case with a change outstanding and they will work that case under close supervision by a very experienced officer – the ratio is usually 1 consolidator to 3-4 trainees. Nothing at that stage is passed without being checked 0- in fact even when a trainee is out of the training program and into a team all their work is put on 100% check and this will continue for quite a considerable length of time – if checkers identify an officer who is making the same error again and again that officer will be offered more training on the area that they are struggling with. Any officer who feel they are having problems with a particular part of the job can ask for further coaching/training – and you would be surprised at the amount of officers who do actually request this. There are also regular up-skilling training sessions which must be attended by all staff (including team leaders). Experienced officers are also the first to admit that they do not know every answer, again this is getting into the situation of black/white hundreds of shades of grey – every officer will discuss cases, wages, shared care evidence etc with others in order to come up with the fairest way to base and MC.

    As for the staff feeding back issues, they do and things get changed, a lot of things that upset clients are the failures that should not happen and if there is a trend then the staff will feed back to management – they in turn will look at what can be done to improve the way the agency works and resolve the issues. The agency however must stick to the legislation and if it a point in law then they cannot decide not to apply that point, in that situation it has to be referred back to the govt for them to consider an amendment. An example of this is that prior to July 2011 if an nrp came off benefit and did not inform the agency of where he was working for 6 months then the agency had to set the effective date of the new MC in relation to the date they were notified – this meant a lot of PWCs lost out on sometimes thousands of pounds of maintenance, and equally a lot of NRPs were still liable for their last MC for months after they had lost their job but didn’t contact the agency and tell them. Now any case where the nrp goes on or off benefit is worked under the new regulation and the change is effective back to the week that the benefit started/ended.

    A lot of threads on this site include comments such as ‘the csa are above the govt’ or suchlike, but in fact the CSA are tied to the legislation that the govt have passed. I think it is fairer to say that the CSA are above the power of an individual MP, by saying this I mean that if a particular MP is contacted by a CSA client and the MP personally does not agree with a certain part of the CSA criteria – say for example the CTC issue – the MP does not have the power to instruct the CSA not to include CTC in that particular case.

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