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A single parent’s guide to Christmas

Christmas bells and festive cheer, adverts and shop windows trying to sell sparkly treasures to your children…

While the kids excitedly count down how many sleeps till Santa comes, many single parents worry about how much there is to organise and the number of presents to buy. It can be difficult juggling money and time while balancing any stress levels.

We asked single parents their tips to help you enjoy Christmas and avoid some of the stress.

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OPFS wishing you a happy Christmas and New Year

OPFS wishing you a happy Christmas and New Year

On behalf of all at One Parent Families Scotland we wish you seasons greetings and all the best for 2020. Our offices and helpline will have different opening hours over the festive break.

The Lone Parent Helpline will be closed from 24th Dec 12.30pm to 3rd Jan 2020.

For urgent help over the break:

  • If you require personal crisis support, call the Samaritans on 116123
  • For concerns over domestic abuse, call Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247
  • For concerns over a mental health issue call NHS 24 on 111
  • For housing, call Shelter on 0808 800 4444
  • For parenting support, call Parent Line on 0800 028 2233

Offices will be closed between dates and times below:

  • Braes Children & Families Centre, Falkirk – 1pm 20th Dec – 7th Jan
  • Glasgow – 23rd Dec – 6th Jan
  • Lanarkshire – 19th Dec – 6th Jan
  • Dundee Family Support Services – 20th Dec – 6th Jan
  • Edinburgh – 24th Dec 12.30pm – 3rd Jan 9.30am
  • Flexible Childcare Scotland, Dundee – 24th Dec – 2nd Jan
  • Flexible Childcare Scotland, Aberdeenshire – 21st Dec – 3rd Jan

See advice guides for single parents

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Out of School Care in Scotland – Plans for the Future

Out of School Care in Scotland – Plans for the Future

The Scottish Government have published a draft framework on out of school care for consultation. It sets out a vision for out of school care, considers the current picture, and asks questions about the benefits and challenges of accessing out of school care.

In our submission OPFS says:

‘We are very pleased that, as we move to 2020, the Scottish Government recognises the important role out of school care plays in providing vital childcare services for families and enriching experiences for children. We agree that access to appropriate out of school care can support parents to access paid work, which in turn has the potential to reduce levels of child poverty.’

Read our submission here

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First Birthday of Best Start Grant Celebrated at OPFS

First Birthday of Best Start Grant Celebrated at OPFS

Scottish Social Security Cabinet Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP celebrates the first birthday of the Best Start Grant with single parent families in Glasgow.

It’s the first birthday of the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment and One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) is marking the event with a birthday celebration at its Glasgow office. Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP was there to meet parents who were some of the first to receive the grant 12 months ago.

Since its launch in December 2018 to September, families with children up to six months old have received £7.7 million. OPFS has worked closely in collaboration with the Scottish Government to ensure single parent have been able to access the Best Start Grant Scheme which has made a vital contribution to help cover the costs of a new baby and during the important early years of their children’s development. (more…)

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Twelve Weans of Christmas Appeal

Twelve Weans of Christmas Appeal

Help make this Christmas special for children and families. Spread some cheer and make a difference this year.

Your donations of new toys, clothes and non-perishable foods will make a real difference to children who would otherwise receive very little this Christmas. (more…)

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We think Boris Johnson has got it wrong!

OPFS Response to comments by Conservative party leader Boris Johnson about children of single parents.

Negative comments made by Boris Johnson about the children of single parents in an article published in 1995 are causing a stir. In a column for The Spectator magazine, the Conservative leader said in the piece that children born to single mothers are “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”.

We think Boris Johnson has got it wrong. If you’re a single parent, or if you grew up in a single parent family, you’ll know that mothers and fathers who parent alone do a fantastic job, balancing their caring role with the responsibility of managing the family budget on a single income.

A recent study by Sheffield University for Gingerbread showed that being raised by a single parent has no negative impact on a child’s wellbeing. It is poverty, not the shape or size of their family, that affects children’s ability to achieve their full potential. It is disheartening and frustrating that so many are still facing outdated views and stigma in their daily lives.

Single parent families are a normal part of family life today. Most are women in their 30s and single parent employment is at a record high, with almost 70% of single parents working. We should all be applauding the incredible work that they do. Our One Parent Families Manifesto calls on all politicians to challenge judgemental and negative attitudes towards single parents:

• Confront the stereotypes portrayed about single parents in the media by communicating the facts.
• Ensure families of all types are valued and treated equally and fairly.
• Introduce family-friendly policy which supports, rather than penalises single parent families.

One Parent Families Manifesto for #GE2019


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One Parent Families Manifesto for #GE2019

One Parent Families Manifesto for #GE2019

As the UK prepares to vote on December 12 for a new Westminster Government, we believe that tackling child poverty should be front and centre of immediate policy priorities.

In Scotland single parent families make up 29% of families, with over half living in poverty – this has a devastating impact on the lives and prospects of so many children.

One Parent Families Scotland has consulted parents to identify the changes that could help their families. The top five areas in single parents’ priorities for the government are outlined below.

Ask your candidates to support these five election pledges to improve the lives of one parent families.
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New Young Carer Grant

New Young Carer Grant

Young carers aged 16 -18 in Scotland who don’t currently qualify for Carer’s Allowance may be eligible for a new £300 annual Young Carer Grant.

To qualify you must be:

  • between 16 and 18 years of age,
  • not getting carer’s allowance and
  • caring for someone for at least 16 hours per week.

 

The person you are caring for must be getting:

  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or
  • the middle or highest care rate of Disability Living Allowance or
  • Attendance Allowance for at least 16 hours per week

 

To apply:

Phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222

Claim online at www.mygov.scot

Download an application form at www.mygov.scot

For more details see Young Carer Grant: FAQ

See our Disability, Sickness and Care Benefits Advice Guide

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Why co-production matters to One Parent Families Scotland

Why co-production matters to One Parent Families Scotland

Co-production is more than just a buzzword to One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS). We believe that when services and policy priorities are genuinely co-produced they work better because they make the most of the shared expertise of the practitioners who work for us and the parents who are ‘experts through experience’.

This means that we recognise that services more closely matched to what single parent families want (as opposed to what practitioners assume they need) will achieve more –  single parents feel more comfortable with a service designed by single parents who have faced the same situations.

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Plans to expand flexible childcare in Dundee through ambitious renovation project

Plans to expand flexible childcare in Dundee through ambitious renovation project

Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS), a service provider set up by One Parent Families Scotland, plans to expand its Dundee services by purchasing the former Fintry Nursery through a community asset transfer. 

The nursery closed over a decade ago and the building has been lying empty, but through the vision of FCSS the site could become a thriving community hub offering flexible childcare services alongside activities for older members of the community.   (more…)

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