Crown Copyright 2012

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The Gateway

  1. The new child maintenance landscape is all about encouraging the right
    sort of behaviours that benefit children and the new Gateway conversation
    is another layer of support to help achieve this.

  2. Before making an application to the statutory scheme parents will have
    to take part in a Gateway conversation that will ensure that the parent considering applying to the statutory scheme is fully aware of the whole
    range of maintenance options that are available to them.

  3. This conversation will explore with them the possibility of making a
    family-based arrangement if they have not considered this before,
    providing them with tools to help them do this and signposting back
    to wider support services where appropriate.

  4. This conversation will normally take place over the phone, but will
    also be available face-to-face for the most vulnerable.

  5. This Gateway conversation will be ‘light touch’, leaving the ultimate choice
    of how to proceed entirely up to the parent. However, participating in the Gateway conversation will be mandatory and we will not consider an application to the statutory scheme unless the applicant has first been
    through the Gateway.

  6. If, at the end of the Gateway conversation, the parent still wishes to apply to the statutory service, they will receive a reference number that will enable them to make an application to the new statutory Child Maintenance Service.

  7. The Gateway conversation will be provided by Child Maintenance Options, which has established itself as a trusted and impartial provider of information and support on maintenance issues to parents and other interested parties.

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