Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Doubtful fathers? : the origins and practice of paternity establishment policy within the Child Support Agency
Author: Lowerson, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0001 3613 3604
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The development and controversial history of the United Kingdom Child Support scheme has been the focus of a substantial corpus of research. This includes exploration of its origins (see, for example, Dolowitz (2001), Gamham and Knights (1994), Wikeley (2006)), experiences of the policy from the perspective of parents (for instance Hutton et al (1998), Wikeley et al (2001)) and the attainment of policy goals (such as the analysis by Skinner & Meyer (2006)). Within this there is, however, relatively little consideration of the establishment of paternity for child support purposes. This is surprising since this issue lies at the heart of any subsequent child support action. This research endeavours to redress this. The development, origins and delivery of United Kingdom child support paternity policy are explored through analysis of debates and policy documents, then through the medium of face to face interviews with Agency staff. These illuminate the manner in which the policy was both developed and then translated into operational practice. This is supplemented by a, regrettably small, handful of interviews with fathers, and a quantitative analysis of a sample of administrative data. The research finds that a particular 'forensic' storyline (Hajer 1993) dominates the discursive practices surrounding CSA paternity policy (Shram 1993, Fischer and Forester 1993, Fischer 2003). The resulting policy has then been shaped by the operation of unwritten tenets that pervade particular aspects of the organisation. This thesis suggests that the superficial similarity of these tenets within particular policy and implementation 'domains', when considered in conjunction with the prevailing storyline, helps to account for the lack of discord around the operation of the policy. Moreover, the interaction of the 'forensic' storyline and the prevailing tenets has meant that certain ethical considerations, such as the impact on children were overlooked. Finally the research findings indicate that child support paternity policy is based more around the concept of probablistic paternity rather than the expected genetic model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Department for Work and Pensions
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available