Lone Parenting

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Presentation by Fiona Weir, Chief Executive, Gingerbread

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  • ONS says 84% of births to parents living together 708,711 babies in England & Wales each year Actually about 11% of those sole registering were cohabiting So PROBABLY abou9t 100k a year to single parents – of whom over 60k were jointly registered
  • Single parents are being made redundant – largest problem caused by the recession Some may be unfairly selected for redundancy when having a baby Employers are reducing hours Loss of child maintenance when other parent loses work Bad time to sell property on relationship breakdown Debts building up, with risk of repossession. Of those repaying debts, over 44% were spending > a fifth of income on repayments
  • I felt that my kids had to be neater, cleaner, shinier and better-behaved than others to show that we were not a chaotic, dysfunctional family just because we were a single parent family. If they were naughty at playgroup I felt people would think ‘well it’s because they are from a single parent family” rather than just accepting that all kids are naughty sometimes.
  • Journal Royal Society of Medicine 2010 Ethnic and social inequalities in women’s experience of maternity care in England: results of a national survey. VS Raleigh, D Hussey, Seecombe, K Hallt More negative about choice of food Adequacy of pain relief Trust and confidence in staff Being left alone when worried being treated with respect and dignity
  • Higher advice needs than other family types - wide ranging and long-standing problems (Cardiff Univ for Nuffield). problems across a wide range of issues associated with being single (e.g. money, housing) having children, and family breakdown, divorce and domestic violence. Trust and non judgemental approach: value speaking to someone who understands their situation. particularly where there is domestic violence or a child-related problem NCT Manifesto 6. The ability to access adequate income while also being active parents to their young children
  • “ It was a relief – panic had set in – I hadn’t started on anything like maternity leave or benefits. The information isn’t widely out there – you have to go out and look for it”.
  • NCT manifesto 5.The chance for all parents to make their own support networks Join a group, drop in or class during pregnancy, reduce risks of feeling lonely isolated and depressed after having a baby. Evidence supports the view that informal social support can help people negotiate stressful experiences such as childbirth and parenting. Parents mutual self help support groups have a key role to play in strengthening families. 6. The ability to access adequate income while also being active parents to their young children WORKING TOGETHER YOU HAVE THE POWER TO TRANSFORM THE EXPERIENCE of 100,000 mums each year
  • “ It was a relief – panic had set in – I hadn’t started on anything like maternity leave or benefits. The information isn’t widely out there – you have to go out and look for it”.
  • Lone Parenting

    1. 1. <ul><li>Presentation to the </li></ul><ul><li>NCT Annual Members conference </li></ul><ul><li>15 May 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Fiona Weir, Chief Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Gingerbread </li></ul>
    2. 2. About Gingerbread <ul><li>Formed from the merger of One Parent Families and Gingerbread </li></ul><ul><li>92 years of campaigning, research and policy change </li></ul><ul><li>Advice and information through the Single Parent Helpline, our website and publications </li></ul><ul><li>Training – to build confidence and help them back to work </li></ul>
    3. 3. Issues affecting single parents <ul><li>Who single parents are </li></ul><ul><li>Financial hardship/poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting ‘alone’, contact arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>Stigma and self esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Support needs </li></ul><ul><li>advice, maternity services, peer support </li></ul>
    4. 4. Single Parents: the facts <ul><li>1.9 million single parents, caring for 3 million children </li></ul><ul><li>92% female, 8% male </li></ul><ul><li>2% are teenage – average age is 36 </li></ul><ul><li>30% of non working LPs have a child with a disability </li></ul><ul><li>50% used to be married, 5% are widowed </li></ul><ul><li>57% are in paid employment </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to experience domestic violence, poor housing and depression </li></ul>
    5. 5. Family context at birth <ul><li>Within marriage 55% </li></ul><ul><li>Cohabiting 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Registered jointly 9% </li></ul><ul><li>at separate addresses </li></ul><ul><li>Registered by mother alone 6% </li></ul><ul><li>Data from ONS 2008 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Single parents and poverty <ul><li>52% of single parent families in poverty (double the risk compared to couple families) </li></ul><ul><li>Only 4 in 10 receiving child maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>31% run out of money before the end of the month most or all of the time, a third manage by cutting back on food </li></ul>
    7. 7. Single parents and poverty <ul><li>My kids have holes in their school uniform, need tracksuit bottoms for games lessons, at the moment I cannot afford either as what was ‘moveable’ money now pays for the increase in fuel and food bills 16% </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve not put the heating on this year. I do not eat during the day to cut down my food bill. My daughter understands that I have no money so she does not want any Christmas presents </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve noticed the kids are lying to friends about money and presents to keep face </li></ul>
    8. 8. Parenting on your own - contact <ul><li>Co-parenting 1 in 10 divide their time equally between their mum and dad </li></ul><ul><li>29% never see their non-resident parent. </li></ul><ul><li>11% of resident parents with contact reported concerns at some point about drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, or child abuse </li></ul><ul><li>71% see their ‘non-resident’ parent (usually father) fairly regularly. 57% of these find have continuing problems. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Single parenting and stigma <ul><li>“ Broken” families, feckless parents, feral children </li></ul><ul><li>Two major evidence reviews in 2009 – one UK on international show that it is not single parenthood itself that causes poor outcomes for a minority of children but the poverty and conflict that families experience . </li></ul>
    10. 10. Let’s lose the labels <ul><li>Challenging stereotyping and stigma </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to what single parents tell us </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on ‘scrounger’ and ‘bad mother’ </li></ul><ul><li>Three party leaders back campaign pledge ahead of general election </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign video and media coverage provokes lively debate </li></ul>
    11. 11. Single parents & maternity services <ul><li>Single parents responded more negatively to </li></ul><ul><li>almost all questions than women with </li></ul><ul><li>partner/husband. </li></ul><ul><li>Less likely to </li></ul><ul><li>access care within 12 weeks of pregnancy </li></ul><ul><li>have a scan </li></ul><ul><li>attend NHS antenatal classes </li></ul><ul><li>have a postnatal check up </li></ul><ul><li>initiate breastfeeding </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to experience complications </li></ul><ul><li>J R Soc Med 2010 </li></ul>
    12. 12. Self esteem during pregnancy <ul><li>Impact of attitudes of care givers, midwives and other is paramount to: </li></ul><ul><li>feelings of confidence at having a successful pregnancy </li></ul><ul><li>feelings of self efficacy to act out any health behaviour changes (breastfeeding, stop smoking) especially if inaccurate advice from ‘powerful others’ in social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Initial reactions (especially with teenage parents) can set the tone for the confidence of the young person believing they can successfully carry, give birth to and parent their child. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Money and practical advice <ul><li> Pressing need to deal with benefits or housing </li></ul><ul><li>- 362k applications for SSMG only 72.9% awarded </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging the father </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying domestic violence – and implications e.g joint birth registration </li></ul><ul><li>SIGNPOST to specialist advice </li></ul>
    14. 14. Call data March 2009 Calls to the Single Parent Helpline
    15. 15. Pregnant and single? <ul><li>Gingerbread offers: </li></ul><ul><li>Positive non judgemental approach </li></ul><ul><li>Single Parent Help and Advice Line </li></ul><ul><li>Gingerbread peer support groups </li></ul><ul><li>Information online – wide range of factsheets </li></ul><ul><li>Single parent and practitioner training </li></ul><ul><li>Signposting </li></ul>Giving birth Money Contact with the other parent Isolation

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