Child Support Analysis

Introduction to the CSA

Here is a more comprehensive introduction to the UK's Child Support Agencies. The material below is just an extract of it.

Here is a Glossary of Terms. (Just a few key terms).

A few basic facts about the CSA
The Child Support Agency of Great Britain is an Executive Agency of the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) which is mostly made up from the former DSS (Department of Social Security).
The Child Support Agency of Northern Ireland is an Executive Agency of the DSD (Department for Social Development).

This site will talk as though there is just one UK CSA, since this makes no difference to any of the analysis or conclusions.
(Other CSAs also exist in the world).

They began operations in 1993 as a result of the 1991 Child Support Act (GB) and Child Support Order (NI). They both operate equivalent legislation for the same purpose, and in fact cooperate and to some degree work-share. They exist to trace the non-resident parent if necessary, to assess how much he (or she) should pay for Child Support Maintenance, to provide a collection service for this money if required, and to enforce payment if required.
Some comprehensive yet readable books and papers
A useful academic paper on this web site, describing the legal background, is:
by Susan Grace Jenkinson LL.M. (A Masters paper submitted to Staffordshire University).
Here is a page of references to books and papers, etc. The following two books are both listed there:
  • If you are prepared to read just one book on the subject, read Child Support In Action. It describes in an approachable manner the political processes leading to the legislation, then the creation of the CSA and its first few years of operation.
  • Another good book, somewhat slimmer, is Trial and error: a review of UK child support policy. It also looks at some foreign approaches.
Description of the reformed system
Here is a description of the reformed system.
It is a multi-page article that summarises individual topics, and also cites detailed references for those who need them.

Here is a summary of the changes in the reformed system.
Really, they comprise a large set of tweaks. There is nothing fundamental.

What the papers say!

This is an index and commentary of newspaper articles about the CSA. It links to separate pages for each year starting at 1994. There are about 400 news articles identified here, and more are added nearly every month.

The CSA's Computer Systems

Here are pages about the CSA's computer systems and their problems. The first page introduces the topic and links to all the others.

The CSA and its computer systems - summary
Parliament and the current computer system
Parliament and the new computer system
News articles about the current computer system
News articles about the new computer system
EDS - Electronic Data Systems

History of child support across the world
History of child support across the world
History of child support in the UK
History of child support in the USA
History of child support in some mainly-English-speaking countries
History of child support in some (non-UK) European countries
Comparisons across some mainly-English-speaking countries
Comparisons across some European countries
Home & weblog
Site map & search
Information & explanation:
Introduction to the CSA
The legislation
The "new scheme"
Advice & debate & FAQs
Assessment calculators
Analysis & opinion:
Agenda for the 21st Century
Financial analysis
Comments on the reforms
Politics & lobbying
Choices & behaviours
Other material:
Articles & papers
Letters & transcripts
Links, books, papers, etc
The international scene
This weblog & website:
Aims & personal details
Blog archive & site history
Blog archives for 2006:
Blog archives for 2005:
All months
Blog archives for 2004:
All months
Blog archives for 2003:
All months
Page last updated: 28 November, 2005 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2005