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Fund for mothers will commence next Friday

icbbuildingGovernment’s Maintenance Fund for mothers whose child support payments have been delayed will begin operation from Friday, February 1.

Permanent Secretary in the Attorney General’s Office, Diane Campbell, said the $400,000 Maintenance Fund would assist with the provision of child support to mothers who have not received payments to which they are entitled from fathers.

She explained “that while efforts would always continue to be made to collect payments from delinquent fathers, there was need for an interim mechanism which ensured that the basic needs of the children involved were met”.

The permanent secretary stated that Cabinet had agreed that an allowance of $50 per week per child should be paid to mothers for a period of four months, after which the respective situations would be reviewed.

Disclosing that the fund would be a revolving one, Campbell stressed that this meant that any monies advanced to mothers would be deducted from monies received under the maintenance order in an effort to keep the fund replenished.

Campbell also spoke about how the fund would operate: “Mothers who have not received funding for three months through their maintenance order, prior to February 1, 2013 will be eligible for benefits from the fund. They must have maintenance orders at the court and should first attend the Family Services Division of the Welfare Department to request a declaration that they are not accessing assistance from that department,” she said.

In addition, she pointed out the declaration should be taken to the magistrates court at which the maintenance order was made, and an application form would be provided and it should be completed and left with the court for processing.

“Each individual will receive a cheque for four weeks allowances per child, that is, $50 per week per child for four weeks, or $200 per child. Subsequently, those mothers will be given a date to collect their cheques from the same magistrates court at which the application was made. They will receive this allowance for a period not exceeding four months, after which each case will be reviewed,” Campbell said.

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