Case studies - meet the families

Liam is the lone parent of a nine year old son aged who came to live with him several years ago after he was removed from his mother's care.

Rebecca is 21 years old and lives alone with her daughter who is 16 months old. She left home aged 17 and has lived on her own and looked after herself since then.

Fiona lives with her two sons aged 11 and 13 years old. She separated from her husband when her sons were little and has been a lone parent since.

Jennifer is a lone parent with three boys aged 13, nine and five years old.

Mary is a lone-parent with a 17 year old son who has extensive disabilities including learning disabilities and mental health issues.

Janice lives with her partner and 17-year-old daughter. At the start of the study, she receives Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance as she has multiple physical conditions.

Emma is married with a 3 year old son.

Pauline is a lone-parent with two teenage children. After a three year period of unemployment post-redundancy, during which time she was unable to cover her mortgage and bills thus incurring high levels of debt, she is working again and trying to recover her financial position.

Sarah is a single parent with one son aged 12 years old. Sarah did an access course in 2011 and is at university studying for a degree.

Jamie is married with six children and works 37.5 hours per week. Jamie has four children still at school, two of whom are twins.

Ashleigh is 20 years old and she lives alone with her two-year-old son.

Debbie is married and has a daughter aged 20 who lives at home and has just started university and a severely disabled son aged six.

Themes emerging from our conversations with our families

This series of mini reports by Morag Treanor of Edinburgh University distils some of the information from discussions with our twelve families over the last two years. The report themes are: