Lone mothers, work and welfare
Lone parents are one of the groups with the highest risk of poverty in the UK and around the world. We began our research in the 1980s, with one of the first studies of their living standards. This was followed by the first national survey of lone-parent families in the UK (Millar and Bradshaw, 1991) that provided new data on their characteristics, routes into lone parenthood, employment and child support.
Our research has continued to be directly involved in informing and evaluating new policy initiatives, including the New Deal for Lone Parents and tax credits, as well as cross-national comparisons of welfare to work programmes.
- The study Lone-parent families in the UK (Bradshaw and Millar, 1991) was influential in subsequent government policy development in relation to child support and employment.
- Two cross-national comparisons of welfare to work policy for lone parents (Millar and Rowlingson, 2001, & Millar and Evans, 2003) provided frameworks for ‘lesson learning’ in the design and delivery of this newly developing policy area.
- The evaluation of the New Deal for Lone Parents prototype scheme and national programmes (Finch et al, 1999; Evans et al, 2003) provided evidence for the revisions to the scheme, which has supported about 660,000 lone parents to enter work since 1998.