§ Mr. Field
The receipt of reliable and realistic levels of child maintenance gives lone mothers additional help in moving off Income Support and into work. The Child Maintenance Bonus provides extra cash help towards the costs associated with starting work, thus giving lone mothers and their children direct benefit from the maintenance paid and contributing to the Government's welfare to work programme.
The Child Maintenance Bonus was introduced on the 7 April 1997. As at the end of February 1998, some 4,100 awards of the bonus had been made of which around 3,900 were to lone parents.
In total, around £500,000 was paid through the scheme between April 1997 and the end of February 1998.