Mothers' experiences of child support: qualitative research and opportunities for policy insight

Cook, Kay, McKenzie, Hayley and Natalier, Kristin 2015, Mothers' experiences of child support: qualitative research and opportunities for policy insight, Journal of family studies, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 57-71, doi: 10.1080/13229400.2015.1011769.

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Title Mothers' experiences of child support: qualitative research and opportunities for policy insight
Author(s) Cook, Kay
McKenzie, HayleyORCID iD for McKenzie, Hayley
Natalier, Kristin
Journal name Journal of family studies
Volume number 21
Issue number 1
Start page 57
End page 71
Total pages 15
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1322-9400
Keyword(s) Social Sciences
Family Studies
post-separation parenting
child support
child maintenance
social meanings of money
Summary Child support is one of the defining and under-studied elements of single mothering in contemporary Australia. However, the Australian Child Support Scheme is marked by high levels of debt and unreliable, partial and non-payment, which exacerbate mothers' financial insecurity. Most Australian child support research has focused on the amounts and outcomes of payments. Little is known about how and why mothers and fathers make the child support decisions they do. In this paper, we synthesise data from three interview studies with mothers who were due to receive child support to assess whether they experienced the system as intended. We compare the experience of child support policy 'on the books' with its experience by mothers 'on the ground'. A qualitative approach to mothers' experiences of child support highlights the social meaning of that money and the importance of understanding its transfer and use as embedded in social relations.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13229400.2015.1011769
Field of Research 111708 Health and Community Services
Socio Economic Objective 920208 Health Policy Evaluation
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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