Statement: Gingerbread is committed to challenging inequality in all forms.

Posted 22 April 2021

There are single parents in all walks of life. Just as every single parent family is unique, so are their single parenting journeys.

It’s damaging to reinforce lazy stereotypes.

Instead, decision-makers need to take time to understand how single parent families can best be supported to thrive. Evidence tells us poverty has a far greater impact on a child’s life chances than family make up.

However, we also know that single parent families are at far greater risk of living in poverty due to multiple disadvantages, including inherent unfairness in both our welfare system and the world of work.

This disadvantage is even more apparent for Black single parent families.

We need the UK Government to ensure it properly considers the unique needs of the UK’s two million single parent families as we begin to build back from the pandemic. It must also scrutinise the effect of its policies on those who are experiencing multiple, intersecting disadvantages – for example, due to their ethnicity or race.

A quarter of families in the UK are headed by a single parent, but we’ve seen their needs ignored throughout the COVID-19 crisis. This must change.

All single parents need to be supported by employers and the UK Government to get back to work, access suitable childcare and to ensure that work pays.

Gingerbread will continue to advocate for single parent families in all their diversity and to support them to thrive as we know they can. We need the UK Government to do the same.