Policy priorities to support one-parent families
Single Parents’ Programme for Change: Policy Priorities to Support One Parent Families
Westminster and Holyrood are facing a child poverty crisis and one parent families have been hardest hit by austerity policies. We face a stark choice: ignore rising poverty and shut out a generation of children from the chance to flourish; or tackle child poverty and the actions needed to end it.
OPFS has consulted single parents about their key concerns and the kind of changes that could make a difference to their families.
We propose five cross-cutting themes and ten policy priorities.
Five Cross-Cutting Themes
- Devolve working-age benefits and Jobcentre Plus to Scotland
- Make ending child poverty a government priority
- Halt austerity measures
- Recognise caring responsibilities
- Listen to single parents in strategies to overcome poverty.
Ten Policy Priorities for Government
- Attitudes & Stigma: Challenge the stereotypes and myths portrayed about single parents in the media by communicating the facts.
- Childcare: Develop high-quality, flexible childcare, affordable at the point of delivery, to allow parents to work or study and to give all children gains in development.
- Social Security: Protect families from rising living costs by restoring the value of children’s benefits, protecting them with a triple lock, so that families are not left in poverty.
- Welfare Reform: Replace the ‘work first’ approach with services to promote longer term skills and personal development. End the benefit sanctions regime and review Universal Credit.
- Employment: Ensure single parents receive a Living Wage and encourage more flexible, family friendly working hours and conditions to support sustainable employment.
- Training & Education: End the Work Programme and introduce Scottish tailored programmes to support single parents’ choices around training, education and paid work.
- Value Parenting: Provide support when required, for parents within all family types through the provision of non-stigmatising parenting support.
- Support for Children: More support for children in changing families, at school and within the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
- Schools & Poverty-Proofing: Universal, high quality, free school meals for all primary school children and support for schools to poverty-proof the school day.
- Housing: End discrimination against single parents with unmet housing needs and have those needs addressed through a combination of social and affordable housing.