MEMBER for Dawson George Christensen will chair a new inquiry into the Child Support Program, at the request of the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP.
The inquiry will focus on how the Child Support system works, including:
• dealing with under or over payments, and enforcement options for payments,
• flexibility for families, and providing the best options for children in conflict situations,
• how the program fits with mediation and Family Assistance frameworks, and
• links between the child support program and the Family Court.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has created an anonymous, online questionnaire for individuals to complete, giving anyone with an experience of the Child Support Program the opportunity to make a personal contribution to the inquiry.
‘The Child Support Program assists families at moments of great stress, and it is designed to focus on the needs and costs of children. The Committee wants to look at the way it operates to ensure that it works for all families, and to see if it is flexible and supportive enough to deal with the range of different family situations,’ George Christensen, the Chair, said.
‘We want to hear from individuals about their experiences, and that is why we have created a comprehensive online questionnaire. I would encourage everyone who has a personal experience of the Child Support Program to go online and tell us their story. This kind of information will be crucial to our understanding of how the program operates in reality.’
The Committee looks forward to the contribution of stakeholder groups throughout the inquiry, providing submissions on their organisational views, and encouraging their clients and members to complete the questionnaire.
A link to the questionnaire, as well as the inquiry’s terms of reference and particular areas of interest to the Committee, are available on the inquiry website: www.aph.gov.au/childsupport.
The Committee will conduct a series of hearings around Australia. All available information, including the draft hearing schedule and advice on contributing to the inquiry, is available on the inquiry website or through the phone information line
Committee Secretariat contact:
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs
PO Box 6021
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6277 2223
Fax: (02) 6277 4427
Anyone who has had dealings with the Child Support Agency is encouraged to complete the survey for the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support Program
On 27 March 2014, the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, asked the Committee to inquire into and report on the Child Support Program.
The Committee has created an online questionnaire for individuals to complete. The questionnaire enables people with an experience of the Child Support Program to make a personal contribution to the inquiry, and will enable the Committee to understand the individual experiences of a broad range of people. You must be over 18 years old to complete the questionnaire, and it will take up to 20 minutes of your time. The questionnaire is available here.
The Committee will be holding hearings in many Australian cities, which will be open to the public. As part of its hearings, the Committee will be holding ‘community statement sessions’, at which individuals may make short statements to the Committee about the inquiry’s terms of reference. If you would like express your interest in participating in one of these sessions, please complete the form at this page.
The Committee is seeking submissions to the inquiry from stakeholder groups and experts. Submissions directly addressing the terms of reference should be forwarded to the Committee no later than Friday 13 June 2014. Online submissions can be made on this page. For information on how to make a submission, go to our Making a submission to a Committee Inquiry page.
Individuals who wish to make a submission to the inquiry should be aware that the Committee cannot investigate individual cases or complaints. Submissions should not include personal details. If you wish to share your personal experiences with the Committee, please complete the online questionnaire.