lone parents

  • 'Mini-jobs' for lone parents?

    Issue 128 (Autumn 2007)
    article

    Juggling work and childcare is the big conundrum of being a lone parent. But as the Government increasingly promotes work as the best way out of poverty, lone parents have little to choose from. Now however, new research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that working in a so-called 'mini-job' for under 16 hours a week could be the way to bring lone parents gradually back into full-time employment while also allowing them to adjust their childcare needs. But are the advantages to lone parents real ones? What happens once benefit cuts are taken into account? Kate Bell considers the different options, as well as whether the strategy could contribute to achieving the Government's target of halving child poverty for 2010.

  • 'Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibility: the future of child maintenance' - CPAG's response

    April 2011
    briefing

    The Government proposes that separating parents should make their own child support arrangements rather than use the statutory scheme, for which it will impose charges that will deter low-income parents from using it. Our response expresses CPAG's concern that the plans are more about saving money than helping separating parents – and risk increasing child poverty in lone parent families.

  • Child maintenance fees put children’s wellbeing at risk

    May 21, 2014
    press release

    Responding to the commencement today of a controversial fees system under the new Child Maintenance Service, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

    “Single parents are at higher risk of living below the poverty line, and making sure they get fair child maintenance payments from non-resident parents is crucial to reducing the poverty rate of single parent families.

    “The big problem with fees is they may put off parents from seeking help from the Child Maintenance Service, leaving them settling for arrangements where their former partner doesn’t put a fair share towards the cost of raising their child.

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  • Fair for who? Child maintenance and family tests.

    Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he wants to see all domestic government policies subjected to a ‘family test’ in future, apparently to ensure that families aren’t undermined or made worse off financially.  But does the ‘family test’ itself pass the test?

    Initially at least, it may be difficult to understand why anyone would be against such an approach. Indeed, we have been arguing that government should pay attention to a wide range of policy areas, such as employment, benefits, and family support services, to reduce child poverty and help improve the lot of poor families for many years.

    One concern, however, is that it’s unclear whether the proposed ‘family test’ applies to lone parent families, too.

  • Lone parents and access to means-tested benefits

    Issue 220 (February 2011)
    article

    Beth Lakhani examines the current state of play for lone parents claiming means-tested benefits and suggests some solutions.

  • Lone parents: the move from IS to JSA

    Issue 208 (February 2009)
    article

    The Social Security (Lone Parents and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 were laid on 23 November 2008. Its provisions are implemented at varying dates from 24 November 2008 through to 2011, in most cases. Beth Lakhani describes the main changes.

  • Looking for families affected by the benefit cap

    9 August 2016
    news

    This autumn the benefit cap will be cut, squeezing low-income families even further and pushing more people into poverty. We are looking for test cases to legally challenge the benefit cap.

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  • Promoting fairness? Lowering the benefit cap will push more families into poverty

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    This autumn the benefit cap will be cut, squeezing low-income families even further and pushing more people into poverty. The Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016 lowers the cap to £23,000 per annum for families (or £15,410 for single claimants) in London and £20,000 for families (or £13,400 for single claimants) outside of London. There are currently 3.9 million children living in poverty. Projections from the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests that child poverty could rise by 50 per cent by 2020. Tightening the cap and taking away more support from low-income households will have a devastating effect on families and children.