Nearly a quarter of dependent children in the UK are from single parent families. Over 90% of single parents are women. The majority of single parents had their children in wedlock and the median age of a single parent is the mid 30's. Only two-fifths of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent. The majority of single parents are in work.
Once children are over 12 years old the employment rate for single mothers is higher than in couple families, yet single parent families are twice as likely to live with their children below the poverty line despite being in work.
Clearly there is inadequate support for single parents, most single parents are trying hard to support their families but fighting a bit of a loosing battle.
I spoke to women who were progressing through PhDs when they had to drop out because of a lack of child support and absent fathers.
SPAN provides services to help get single parents back into work, teaches English to those for whom English as a second language and provides services for women in violent and dangerous relationships among other things. These services are being cut, in some cases completely scrapped. the knock on effects of this on parents and therefore the wider society will be huge.
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