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We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents

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Email advice

Our email advice packages mean that guidance on a wide range of topics is just a click away. Simply choose the areas that are of interest to you, fill in your email address and you’ll receive a tailored message full of relevant information, straight to your inbox.

Select which advice pack(s) you would like to request.

Advice for parents making arrangements for their children ›

When parents are living apart it can be difficult to reach agreement about how much time your child will spend with each of you. Even when arrangements have been made, they often need to change as your child gets older. Gingerbread provides expert advice and practical support to single parents and is here to help with anything you need to know about parenting on your own.

You can find up to date information to help you make arrangements for your children in our factsheets. The factsheets attached are the most relevant for parents trying to put suitable arrangements in place, and provide advice on what to do if you can’t agree.

Advice for teenage parents ›

As a young parent, you’ll have a lot to consider: from making sure you can manage financially, to sorting out your living arrangements and making decisions about whether to carry on (or restart) education or training at school, college or university.

To make sure that you know what financial support you could be entitled to, visit our Teenage parents benefits finder for some tailored advice.

You can also chat to other single parents through our forums - just log on and join the conversation here.

Below are links to our most relevant factsheets packed with practical advice, as well as details of other organisations you might find useful.

Advice for parents about sanctions ›
A sanction is when a benefit you receive is stopped for a period of time because it’s been decided that you haven’t complied with the rules. Different benefits have different types of sanctions. Sanctions apply to jobseekers allowance, income support and employment and support allowance.

It is important that you understand the rules for each of your benefits to avoid being sanctioned, but also so you can challenge a sanction if you think the decision is wrong. The factsheets below give you information on sanctions, benefits and how to get help if you need it.
Advice for parents with a disability, or who have a disabled child ›

Whether you, your child or both of you have a disability, it can add extra challenges to being a single parent. We’ve compiled this advice pack to help you find as much support for your family as possible.

Below are links to Gingerbread factsheets and web information that give you up-to-date, easy to understand information. They cover what help is available on the issues that may affect you if you have a disability yourself, or you have a child with a disability.

We have also included links to other specialist organisations that may be useful.

Advice on self-employment ›
Becoming self-employed is an exciting time, but can also be a complicated business. Knowing what to do when, where to get help, and what financial support you’re entitled to can make the transition less stressful.

If you’re thinking about self-employment our online advice tool can help you understand what that means for your taxes, national insurance, and benefits.

Trying to work out what benefits you can claim can be tricky when you’re self-employed - our interactive tool can guide you through the process step-by-step.

You can find practical, up-to-date information to help you in our factsheets and web tools below. We have also included links to other organisations that may be useful.

Tailored advice from our website

  1. Getting started as self-employed
  2. Self-employment and benefits
  3. Changing your job, hours or pay
  4. Childcare
Advice for parents about childcare ›
Making childcare arrangements isn’t always easy. Whether you are working, looking for work, studying or at home with your children, you need to be sure your child is being well looked after in the setting you choose. You may also want to find out more about how to pay for childcare. 

Gingerbread has an interactive guide to help you if you are looking for a childcare provider, need help with the costs of childcare, or your childcare costs have changed.

You can find up-to-date information in our factsheets. The factsheets attached are the most relevant  for parents trying to find childcare if they are working or studying.  You might also find it useful to ask other parents how they have managed childcare. You can talk to other single parents in our online forums.
Advice for women who are single and pregnant ›

As a single parent looking forward to the birth of a new baby, you will have lots of things to consider, especially how you manage financially. 

There are a number of benefits you can claim as a new parent and the links to our factsheets below explain what you could be entitled to.  There is also information about how to make arrangements with your baby’s other parent.

You can also make the most of Gingerbread's forums and speak to other parents about their experiences. Just log in and join the conversation here.

Advice for parents who are separating ›

The end of a relationship can be a difficult time, particularly for parents, and there's a lot to organise. Gingerbread provides expert advice and practical support and is here to help with anything you need to know about being a single parent.

You can find up to date information in our factsheets. The factsheets attached are the most relevant ones for parents whose relationship has broken down.

Thousands of single parents share their experiences and tips online through our forums - you can log on and join the conversation here.

Advice on arranging child maintenance ›

Child maintenance is the money your child’s other parent pays towards their upbringing. All parents have the responsibility to provide for their child financially, and child maintenance can help to make sure your family has what it needs.

Recently there have been some big changes to child maintenance. You can find out the latest information here.

Making arrangements for child maintenance can sometimes seem complicated. Below is a set of factsheets to help you understand how child maintenance works and what your options are. They include expert advice on how to reach agreements for payment of child maintenance, and information on how to use the Child Maintenance Service if you can't reach an agreement.

There’s also help if you’ve tried to use the Child Support Agency, but you’re not receiving the right amount, or not receiving any payment at all.  
Advice on managing your money ›

Money is a vital part of life, but sometimes you might find yourself with concerns about how you and your family are managing financially.

Being a single parent often means trying to balance the everyday costs of family life on one income, and it’s only natural to worry about money sometimes. There may also be times when you have to deal with an unexpected expense, or you may find yourself struggling with debt. In all these situations and whenever you feel worried about money, it’s best to seek advice as quickly as possible to help put your mind at ease.

Understanding your situation and having all the facts about what support is available can make managing your money easier and less stressful. You can find practical, up-to-date information to help you in our factsheets below. You can also share hints and tips with other parents through our forums - just log in and join the conversation here.

Advice on benefits for single parents ›

Claiming benefits can be complicated, confusing and time consuming but having the right advice for your family could make things much easier.

You can find up to date benefits information to help you understand your entitlement to benefits in our factsheets. The factsheets below are the most relevant for single parents claiming benefits.

Advice on looking for work ›

Gingerbread provides expert advice and practical support for single parents. We understand how difficult and daunting it can feel if you haven’t worked for a while, or have never worked, so we run training courses to help.

Advice about help whilst studying ›

Starting a course - whether at school sixth form, college or university - is a great way to get new skills. It can be difficult to understand what financial help and support is available for you as a single parent.

We have a set of factsheets that give you up to date, easy to understand information. They cover what financial help is available, and how starting a course may affect your entitlement to benefits and tax credits. We have also included links to other organisations that may be useful as you start studying.

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