Work - Single parents

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Financial support by the state however is one thing.

The other - a matter that's more important to our readers - is how single parents are supported to find a job that can help them live without social benefits.

In Southern Germany, Yvonne says, for her, getting a job was the most important factor.

Today, the state support tops up what she makes as a part-time nursery teacher.

On top of the 850 € she earns a month, she receives almost 300 € in child support and alimonies, 184 € in child and 133 € in social benefits.

She secured herself a career - or so she thought

The UK has the highest number of single parents - and one of the highest percentages of them living in poverty.

With public spending cuts, their situation will deteriorate."Most of these parents are living in poverty, struggling to pay even for accommodation and bills." Annabel from Edinburgh points out.

For her, enabling single parents to work is the only way to help them. And enabling might simply mean providing for flexible childcare.

At 33, Annabel has secured herself a career as a high-flying development manager, or so she thought. After giving birth to her only son Sebastian, now five, she found it impossible to find employment that suited her qualifications, experiences and skills.

"I wanted to get back to work, but people just assume because you have a child it won't be possible," she recalled. As a result, Annabel set up "Working for parents", Scotland's first jobs agency for parents, mainly single mothers who need flexible or part-time work.

As our demographics are changing and fewer skilled workers are available, companies are forced to start changing their business culture.

Companies simply need a workforce that's available. Being a parent is beginning to be viewed more seen as an asset, than a handicap.

For the growing number of single parents, this might be good news.


Shila Meyer Behjat
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