Vital Funding for Single Parent Support Charity withdrawn by Glasgow City Council
One Parent Families Scotland Statement
Glasgow City Council has approved recommendations for the allocation of a new Transition Fund, set up to support some charities which missed out on Communities Fund money. One Parent Families Glasgow was not selected to receive further funding.
- Satwat Rehman, Chief Executive
Case for Support
See the case for support for our OPFS Glasgow service. Included are the key issues for Councillors, MSP’s and Stakeholders.
OPFS Chief Executive Satwat Rehman said many single parents across Glasgow will be extremely concerned to hear this news. She said today
“Glasgow’s only dedicated single parent support service has been cut adrift by Glasgow City Council. Vital services are under threat as the council has now withdrawn funding which underpins this important part of Glasgow’s advice and equalities sector. We are very pleased for those charities who have been given a last minute reprieve, but we are devastated and at a loss to understand why our own crucial services have not been funded, particularly as councillors have said they prioritised ‘communities of interest’ and those hardest hit by the pandemic and resulting restrictions.”
Recent research has found
- 75% of single parents have had to cut back on food spending
- Just 16% received full amount of maintenance they were due each month
- 80% say their child has missed out on sports or music lessons, or other hobbies + activities
These are not just statistics; they are real lives. As an immediate response to this increasing tide of poverty during the lock-down period, OPFS Glasgow staff made 4,949 deliveries of food and vouchers as well as essential items, provided 837 fuel grants and made 3,447 wellbeing calls to single parent families in local communities across Glasgow.
- Mary, single parent
Single parent families, 40% of families in Glasgow, are headed by mothers in their mid-30’s and are often the most disadvantaged and excluded within society, facing poverty as well as stigma and judgemental attitudes. OPFS Glasgow has worked hard for this often invisible community of interest in the city to be seen and heard. We want single parents to know that OPFS will continue to fight for their dedicated services, which we know have saved lives – because parents have told us.
Only last month single parent families were the focus of the Scottish Government’s report on child poverty with an annex on the evidence & recommended actions. We are at a loss to see how cutting all council funding for Glasgow’s only specialist single parent service in the area with the highest proportion of single parents can help with the ambition of Scottish and local governments to tackle child poverty; ambitions shared by Glasgow City Council.
It has also been well-documented, from a Public Health Scotland’s paper on ‘COVID-19 and lone parent households’ that single parent families are facing some of the greatest challenges, intensifying existing inequalities. It is difficult to understand how the strategic recognition of this research can be reconciled with the decision by Glasgow City Council to provide zero funding through its transition fund for the organisation supporting this exact target group.
The COVID-19 virus pandemic is still creating a unique challenge for single parents and their children, as they depend on one income and don’t have the support of another adult in the home to share childcare & parenting responsibilities. Our service in Glasgow has always responded quickly to new challenges and involved parents in all our work. We believe the expertise and experience of our community-based services will be vital in the recovery effort that lies ahead. In the hardest of times, we have risen to the challenges thrown at us.
To weather the worst and rebuild, we need this kind of community-minded approach which is tailored to single parents’ particular needs. We, and the parents we work with, are dismayed that now, when families need it most our vital Glasgow services face drastic cuts. OPFS will continue to make representations to Glasgow City Council in the hope that politicians will consider OPFS’ reputation and track record of involving single parents in delivering high quality effective and preventative community services and work with them to secure funding from Glasgow City Council to continue this vital work.
Making a difference.