OPFS funding, autonomy, and impartiality



One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) support for the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill has resulted in media coverage focusing on the funding that we, and other charities in Scotland supporting the Bill, have received from the Scottish Government. We are issuing this statement to ensure our response is on the public record.

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Supporting all single parents

Single parent families are a diverse group. They share one common characteristic: that of being the only parent or carer in their family. They can include single mothers, single fathers, kinship carers, young people who have parenting responsibilities for younger siblings, and a small number are transgender single parents. Children and young people in all families, whatever their make-up, should feel their family is respected and valued and that they don’t face judgemental attitudes and discrimination. OPFS aims to ensure that we are both inclusive and visible to all single parent families in Scotland.

Charities in Scotland have a long history of influencing the UK and Scottish Governments, and don’t shy away from criticising the decisions taken in Holyrood.

- Annie Fowlie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

SCVO, the national membership organisation for the voluntary sector, has challenged claims civic society has been “captured” by Scottish Government.

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO said:

“Charities in Scotland have a long history of influencing the UK and Scottish Governments, and don’t shy away from criticising the decisions taken in Holyrood. We celebrate the sector working with – while also being prepared to challenge, debate, persuade and influence – the Scottish Parliament. Charities have a unique depth of knowledge and evidence to contribute to the public discourse, and their right to use that must be protected.”

OPFS funding

OPFS is totally transparent about its funding. Our annual accounts are independently audited and sent to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) each year. We also publish our audited accounts on our website each year.

OPFS receives grants through 51 different funding streams. We are therefore not solely reliant on any one funder to deliver our services.

Our independence and impartiality

Established in 1944, OPFS is the leading charity working with single parent families in Scotland. We provide expert advice, practical support, and campaign with parents to make their voices heard to change the systems, policies and attitudes that disadvantage single parent families. OPFS works to the high standards expected of all charities when campaigning and influencing (both of which are legitimate and valuable activities for charities to undertake).

As a registered Scottish charity, we follow guidance and requirements of the OSCR, which is the independent regulator and registrar for Scotland’s charities.

Our organisation is politically impartial, we work and meet with all political parties at Holyrood, and we are not afraid to challenge government at all levels on issues which affect single parent families. The funding we receive, including from Scottish Government, does not prevent OPFS from criticising Scottish Government or public services policy and practice.

OPFS takes a human rights approach to gender recognition reform, and (as with all our stances) we support change independently of any position held by the Scottish Government. We were not involved at any point in shaping or preparing draft legislation for the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

For media enquiries please email media@opfs.org.uk.