Lone Parent Families

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  • LONE PARENT FAMILIES
    • GROWTH
      • tripled since 1971
      • UK has one of the highest percentages of lone-parent families in Europe
      • in 2014 1 in 4 families with dependant children were lone-parent of which 9 in 10 were headed by women
    • WHY AN INCREASE?
      • greater economic independence of women - more job opportunities, support from welfare state
        • marriage & support from husband is less of an economic necessity
      • improved contraception - changing male attitudes, fewer shotgun weddings
        • wider availability & approval of safe & effective contraception, easier access to safe & legal abortions, men may feel less responsibility to marry if they become unintentionally pregnant
      • changing social attitudes.  less social stigma attached to it, women not afraid of consequences
      • reproductive technology.  can bear children without male partner - IVF, surrogate
    • NEW RIGHT
      • Blame the generosity of welfare state
      • HURRAY argues that generous welfare benefits encourage women to have children they couldn't otherwise afford
      • rising crime is due to a lack of nuclear family
    • POLICIES TO CUT WELFARE COSTS
      • Child support agency = encourages absent fathers to take financial responsibility
      • Childcare tax credit = helps with cost of childcare
      • increase to minimum wage
    • MYTHS OF LONE PARENT FAMILIES
      • absent fathers - can be argued fathers do help & get involved when mother is alone raising the child, however, statistics fail to consider this
      • problems with children arisen in lone-parent - just as likely to occur in two-parent familes
      • the home office - no difference between the crime rates of youngsters from lone-parent families & those from 2 parent families
      • in 2011 the average age of a lone parent was 38

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