The Government established a Child Maintenance Review Group to examine certain issues in relation to child maintenance in Ireland. The Group is chaired by former Circuit Court Judge Catherine Murphy and includes legal, policy and academic professionals as well as officials from my Department and the Department of Justice.
The Group's Terms of Reference are to consider and make recommendations on: (i) the current treatment of child maintenance payments in my Department; (ii) the current provisions regarding liable relatives managed by my Department; and (iii) the establishment of a Child Maintenance Agency in Ireland.
The work of the Group is well underway. To date the Group has held four meetings and there are a number of other meetings scheduled on a regular basis over the coming months.
I am very pleased that the Group launched its public consultation on 11th February. The consultation process which runs until 26th March provides an important opportunity for stakeholders, whether they are individuals or groups, to provide information, experiences and different perspectives on the areas under consideration. These submissions will help to inform the review and the recommendations which the Group will present to me later this year.