Private Lives and Public Responses: Lone Parenthood and Future Policy


The rise in lone parenthood has been one of the most striking demographic and social trends of the last 25 years. In Private Lives and Public Responses, the leading experts on the subject -academics, researchers, policians, civil servants and representatives from lone parent organisations - assess the policy dilemmas posed by the unprecedented growth in levels of lone parenthood in the UK.

The book begins with an assessment of current policy and an analysis of the reality of life for the 4.6 million people living in lone parent families in the UK today. It looks at society’s attitudes towards lone parents and the perceived ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ aspects of lone parenthood; gives a historical perspective to the trends; identifies the similarities and differences between ‘solo’ and separated’ parents; analyses the dynamics for family change; and much more. The contributors then go on to look at the policy issues surrounding lone parenthood, including its impact on access to education and employment prospects; childcare, income, debt and the role of Family Credit; and the impact of the Child Support Agency. The last chapter of the book draws out clear recommendations for future policy development.

Private Lives and Public Responses draws on a large body of research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Department of Social Security, the ESRC and others to provide an invaluable guide to the debates surrounding policy towards lone parents. It will prove invaluable reading for all policy-makers and academics involved in these issues.

ISBN: 0 85374 736 9