Available from FPSC, 231 Baker St, London NW1 6XE, £9.50 & £1.50 p&p.
A summary is available free - Social Policy Research Findings No 92, March 1996, ' The Impact of the Child Support Act on lone mothers and their children', from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Homestead, 40 Water End, York Y03 6LP. tel 01904 629241
This is the latest offering from the team that produced the earlier studies ; Children Come First, (1993), and Losing Support; Children and the Child Support Act, (1994). The authors have studied a sample of 53 low income mothers and their children and have found that there has been no financial gain as a result of the CSA among this group of families. They also find that in about a quarter of cases the CSA assessment process has had an adverse effect on relationships between former partners or between fathers and their children.
Clarke, Craig, & Glendenning were the first to publish an independent evaluation of the effects of the CSA on children and the theme that runs through all of their work is that the CSA has not contributed anything to the welfare of children. These findings have been further supported by another study of 26 parents with care in Liverpool. (see D Abbot, (1996), The Child Support Act 1991; the lives of parents with care living in Liverpool, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 18(1) p21-36). Interim conclusions by Gill Gillespie from longer term research 'supports assertions that neither absent (sic) or caring (sic) parents, nor their children are benefiting from the CSA'. (see G. Gillespie, (1996), Child Support - the hand that rocks the cradle. Family Law March 1996 p162-164.).
The picture emerging is that the CSA has been a disaster for resident parents, non resident parents and children alike. The campaign against the CSA is coordinated by The Network Against the Child Support Act (NACSA). They can be contacted at PO Box 3159, Fishermead, Milton Keynes MK6 2YB. tel 01908 665646. email - bsawford @cix compulink co uk. Make sure that your group subscribes to the excellent NACSA News.
Arthur Baker, Sept 96.