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Supporting Lone-parent Families...through Work: A Challenging Issue for British Social Policy

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One of the most significant changes in the British family structure in the last few decades is the growth in the number of families headed by a lone parent. This paper begins exploring the singular growth and characteristics of lone-parent families in Britain within the European context. Secondly, it highlights the political and social debates resulting from the different interpretations of the figures. Finally, it reviews the evidence that supports the current public response to lone-parents' needs. New policy directions assume that the lack of jobs among lone parents is a matter of barriers to employment, and therefore they try to develop bridges to overcome them. This policy is not neutral, as it encourages lone parents to give priority to their responsibilities as income providers through paid work. The dilemmas and questions that this policy raises are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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