The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

National survey of child support agency clients research report

Wikeley, Nick, Barnett, Sarah, Brown, James, Davis, Gwynn, Diamond, Ian, Draper, Teresa and Smith, Patten (2001) National survey of child support agency clients research report , London, UK Department of Work and Pensions 196pp. (152).

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)


This report presents the findings from a survey of 2,500 Child Support Agency clients and provides information on their characteristics, experiences and attitudes prior to the implementation of the Child Support reforms in 2002. It will serve as a baseline against which to evaluate whether the forthcoming reforms produce a system that is accessible, comprehensible and responsive to parents.

The research was undertaken by IPSOS-RSL with academics from the University of Southampton and the University of Bristol.

The main findings are:


* Respondents views on accessibility i.e. approaching the agency and customer handling issues attracted reasonably positive feedback. Most respondents found the CSA’s letters easy to understand and the application form reasonably easy to complete.
* Just under half of parents with care and about one third of non-resident parents said they were usually able to get through to a member of staff who could help them. However, nearly half of non-resident parents and a third of parents with care experienced difficulty in finding a member of staff who was familiar with their case, as many people had previously dealt with their case.


* Most respondents did not understand the calculations underpinning their maintenance assessment and less than half believed that the calculations were accurate. Understanding the maintenance calculation was found to be a key indicator of non-resident parents’ compliance in paying maintenance. This is one of the main areas being targeted by the reforms.

CSA Response to customer needs:

* Measures of responsiveness were mixed. Respondents generally reported that when they were telephoned by a CSA member of staff they called at a convenient time, they were polite and explained the purpose of the call. The majority of parents with care felt that staff were helpful, tactful, and sensitive.
* Respondents were not as satisfied with the CSAs response to complaints reporting the CSA to be slow in responding. Fewer than one in three non-resident parents and one in four parents with care were satisfied with the Agency’s response to letters which they had sent.
* Respondents generally felt that the CSA had failed to take action in response to non-payment of maintenance.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2001


Local EPrints ID: 35215
PURE UUID: ccc144a7-8984-4d3e-9bfd-b815b49d7181

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:48

Export record


Author: Nick Wikeley
Author: Sarah Barnett
Author: James Brown
Author: Gwynn Davis
Author: Ian Diamond
Author: Teresa Draper
Author: Patten Smith

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.