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Books & one-off papers

Publication Comments
Child Support In Action
Gwynn Davis, Nick Wikeley, Richard Young with Jacquelin Barron, Julie Bedward
Hart Publishing 1998
ISBN 1-901362-70-1

If you are prepared to read just one book on the subject, read this. 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.

(When they make the film of this book, they will probably call it "Scary Agency". You know those films where everyone except the participants knows that something dreadful is going to happen? Where you want to shout at the actors "don't do that ... you can't be serious ..."? Well ...!)

Absent Fathers?
Jonathan Bradshaw, Carol Stimson, Christine Skinner, Julie Williams
Routledge, 1999
ISBN 0-415-21593-5
If you are prepared to read another book on the subject of the CSA, read this. This describes research which shows just how many non-resident fathers are simply not financially capable of making a significant contribution towards their children - non-resident parents tends to be poorer on average than other men in the population. Sometimes the CSA simply moves small amounts of money from one poor household to another. Sometimes it just moves poverty around.
Trial and error: a review of UK child support policy
Helen Barnes, Patricia Day, Natalie Cronin
Family Policies Study Centre, 1998
ISBN 1-9011455-08-4

Another good book, somewhat slimmer, is Trial and error: a review of UK child support policy.

It also looks at some foreign approaches for: Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, USA.

Making child maintenance regimes work
Anne Corden
Family Policy Studies Centre &
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
ISBN 1-901455-35-1
This is a book describing child support schemes in about 10 European countries including the UK, comparing them in textual & tabular form. These are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK.
Small Fortunes: Spending on children, childhood poverty and parental sacrifice.
Sue Middleton, Karl Ashworth and Ian Braithwaite
Published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
ISBN 1 85935 032 1
Child Support: The Legislation
Commentary by Edward Jacobs & Gillian Douglas
ISBN 0-421-59520-5
Law and Parenthood
Chris Barton and Gillian Douglas
ISBN 0 406 04499 6
The Parental Obligation: A study of parenthood across households
Mavis Maclean and John Eekelaar
Hart Publishing - 1997 - 170 pages
ISBN 1-901362-22-1
What is a parent? A Socio-Legal Analysis
Edited by Andrew Bainham, Shelley Day Sclater and Martin Richards
Hart Publishing 1999
ISBN 1-84113-043-5
Papers and one-off publications
The Costs of Children and the Welfare State: An Empirical Analysis based on Consumer Behaviour
Dickens, Fry, Pashardes
Discussion paper series no 466, December 1996
Department of Economics, University of Essex
Public Attitudes to Child Support Issues
DSS In-house report 46
William O'Connor & John Kelly (1998)
ISBN 1-85197-865-8
DSS In-house reports are available free from the DSS.
Views About State Support for Lone Parents & Their Children
DSS In-house report 50
Dawn Snape & John Kelly (1999)
ISBN 1-85197-872-0
DSS In-house reports are available free from the DSS.
Child support: one year on
National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux
78 HTML pages. It is free, but you'll need to register.

Child support policy regimes in the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries: Similar issues, different approaches
by Anne Corden and Daniel R. Meyer
Spring 2000

In: University of Wisconsin–Madison Institute for Research on Poverty
Focus - Volume 21 Number 1 Spring 2000

Anne Corden is a Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Unit in the University of York and Daniel R.
Meyer is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and an IRP affiliate.

Child support: The British fiasco
by Jonathan Bradshaw and Christine Skinner
Spring 2000

In: University of Wisconsin–Madison Institute for Research on Poverty
Focus - Volume 21 Number 1 Spring 2000

Jonathan Bradshaw is Professor of Social Policy and Christine Skinner is Lecturer in Social Policy, University of York, United Kingdom.

(A Masters paper submitted to Staffordshire University) 10th May 2001

This paper is on this site as a guest contribution.

It identifies many more books and papers (going back to the Finer report: "The Report of the Committee on One Parent Families (1974) HMSO Cmnd 5629", etc). It puts them into a historical and legal context.

The Global Development and Spread of Policies and Political Institutions
David P.Dolowitz
University of Birmingham
"The Child Support Agency: where is it from?"

This is a PDF file (102KB).

I disagree with the conclusions. While the facts appear to be correct - the UK government examined systems in other countries - there was not a simple transfer of design from the USA to the UK. Instead, ideas from various places, including some home-grown, were built into a poorly-designed patchwork.

The Liability to Maintain and the Child Support Act
A Reference Paper: Peter Snow LLB (Hons.)
February 1997
A paper supplied privately that asserts judicial confusion about the concept of "liability to maintain" and just who is "liable".

This section will be extended significantly, but note that the Jenkinson paper above already identifies many more papers.

Government and Parliament

Report of the Committee on One-Parent Families
July 1974
Command paper Cmnd 5629 & 5629-I
ISBN 0-10-156290-X
ISBN 0-10-156291-8

"The Finer Report".

(See Jenkinson, above).

"Children Come First"
White paper in 1990, precursor to the CSA
ISBN 0-10-112642-5
Social Security Committee Fifth Report
The Operation of the Child Support Act: Proposals for Change
26th October 1994
ISBN 0-10-247094-4
Lessons from the United States of America
Select Committee on Social Security report on its visit to Washington and Wisconsin during 1-5 December 1997
Children First: a new approach to child support
(CSA reform Green Paper)
Command paper Cm 3992 July 1998
CSA-reform Green Paper Minutes of Evidence
Social Security Committee
A new contract for welfare: children's rights and parents responsibilities
(CSA reform White Paper)
Command paper Cm 4349 July 1999
Page last updated: 17 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003