One Parent Families Manifesto

Last updated: 12/02/2020

In the lead up to the 2019 General Election, we published a five-point manifesto of policies which we urge all parties to support.

Related links

Read our single parent stories to learn about the impact of some of these policies for one parent families.

Find out more about our policy and research work.

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 UK Government are outlined below.

Our manifesto aims to make sure politicians are aware of just how important these concerns are. Let’s appreciate the power of the single parent voice and the strength of support behind our policy calls. Together we can build a society where single parents and their children are truly valued and treated equally.

1. 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.

2. Invest in a Social Security System that prevents child poverty, treating single parent families with dignity and respect

  • Pause and review universal credit and immediately:
    – remove the five-week wait for benefits,
    – invest to improve poor administration (particularly of childcare costs),
    – and pay single parents under 25 the same rate as those over 25.
  • End the policies that penalise single parent families – the working age benefits freeze, the two-child limit and the benefits cap.
  • Reverse job-seeking conditions for parents with pre-school aged children.
  • Replace benefit sanctions with personalised support tailored for single parents.

3. Make childcare work for single parents

  • Extend Universal Credit to cover 100% of childcare costs, paid a month in advance.
  • Cover the upfront costs of childcare through a deposit scheme not the flexible support fund.
  • Extend childcare support to parents undertaking training and education.

4. Support single parents to enter and progress in employment

  • Ensure single parents take home the real living wage and encourage more flexible, family friendly working.
  • Require employers to consider flexible working requests at the point of recruitment.

5. Make the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) fit for purpose

  • End the fees for the Collect & Pay service.
  • Act on enforcement powers available to the CMS so that children receive the payments they deserve.

Over the coming months we will be consulting further with parents and our staff to identify priorities leading in to the Scottish Parliament election in 2021. Watch this space for updates on our manifesto calls.