Book review – Child Support Handbook

Child support handbook: 16th ­edition 2008/2009

Star rating: 5/5

Elspeth Harrison

Child Poverty Action Group

ISBN 9781906076146

There was a time when welfare rights formed a significant part of social work practice. Sadly, this is not the case today – I can almost hear people saying “too much time spent filling in forms and inputting data” – but a copy of this book, like most of CPAG‘s publications, should be in every social work office.

The book is updated to cover the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 and how the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is gradually taking over from the Child Support Agency.

It tells you everything you need to know about the child support scheme through five sections of detailed and comprehensive chapters. Included in the book are details on who is covered by the scheme, making applications, the amount of maintenance under the new and old rules, maintenance decisions, appeals, collection and enforcement, and complaints. Useful appendices and a detailed index complete this clear text.

I found the practical examples, and advice about tactics and arguments useful and helpful.

In short, this book is the benchmark guide to the child support scheme.

Steve Rogowski is a social worker (children and families) with a local authority in north-west England

This review is published in the 23 April issue of Community care magazine

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