Current Campaigns

Our policy and campaigns work focuses on the issues that single parents tell us matter most. We work with single parents, parliamentarians, policy makers and the media to highlight the need for change and to ensure single parents’ voices are heard and listened to. Find out more about the current campaigns we’re working on, and how you can get involved.

Scrap the sanctions

In partnership with Home-start Lambeth & Himmah, we have launched a new project (funded by the Lloyd’s Banking Foundation) focusing on the effect of Universal Credit sanctions on single parent families. As part of this, we have launched a survey to understand and reflect upon single parents’ experience with sanctions, alongside a series of focus groups and interviews.  

Take the survey now (open until end of February). 

To express interest in a focus group and/or interview, please email 

We will then use the research findings to launch a campaign on the issue. Keep an eye on our social media for more on this! 


Every day, single parents call our advice line to tell us about the difficulties they are having with the CMS. They tell us that action isn’t always being taken to enforce payments and that by avoiding payments, perpetrators of abuse are able to continue to exert control over their ex-partners.  

The lack of enforcement by the CMS is directly linked to child poverty. One research study showed that if child maintenance were paid in full to all children in separated families living in poverty who currently do not receive financial support from their other parent, it could lift 60% of them out of poverty.  

Most recently, we intervened in a High Court judicial review case about the CMS, where were able share our expertise with the High Court on how the CMS works.  

The case was brought forward by a group of single parents and the children of single parents who argued that the significant problems with the CMS were causing them “significant and prolonged financial difficulties” and “pushing them into poverty”. 

We had hoped to see significant reform of the CMS as a result of the case. But sadly, on 15 December 2023, the judge ruled in favour of the Government and agreed with them that the way the system is being operated is lawful (read Gingerbread’s response here).  

Although we are disappointed with this outcome, we will not allow it to deter us in our fight for systemic change and will continue to press for significant reforms to the CMS. 

Join our campaign for CMS Reform



Other CMS work

Gingerbread, along with other charities, recently supported two new Bills on the CMS to become law. These Bills aim to improve the situation for survivors of domestic abuse and to strengthen the enforcement powers of the CMS.  

We’ve given written and oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee, and their report echoed our call to scrap the fees for Collect and Pay, notably for survivors of domestic abuse.  

Gingerbread also jointly provides the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the CMS. An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is a group of MPs from all parties who meet together on a particular issue. Gingerbread helps to organise these meetings, which are online and open to the public. Please email to find out the topic of the next meeting and how to attend. 


We are extremely concerned about the impact of stricter conditionality requirements on Universal Credit claimants with lead care. The changes to conditionality, which were introduced in the 2023 Spring Budget, require parents of 3 to 12-year-olds to spend more time in work or applying for jobs to be eligible for Universal Credit. 

Last year, we published an open letter to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, highlighting the ineffective nature of stricter conditions, alongside the lack of suitable childcare or jobs that are required to make these changes workable for single parents.  

The letter was signed by a number of charities and organisations who share our concerns, including Save the Children, Pregnant then Screwed and the TUC. You can find further information on these changes and a full write up of the letter here. 

New Report