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The welfare we want?The British challenge for American reform$
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Robert Walker and Michael Wiseman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344083

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344083.001.0001

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The art of persuasion? The British New Deal for Lone Parents

The art of persuasion? The British New Deal for Lone Parents

(p.115) Five The art of persuasion? The British New Deal for Lone Parents
The welfare we want?

Jane Millar

Policy Press

Since the 1970s, the number of lone-parent families has more than tripled, their employment rate has fallen, their receipt of benefits has risen, and their poverty rate has increased significantly. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has stated that the current Labour government has initiated a significant policy shift, one that begins to reconceptualise lone parents as workers as well as parents, and which, for the first time, sets an employment target for policy. This chapter focuses on lone parents rather than their children, concentrating particularly on the New Deal for Lone Parents. It discusses the developments in the context of the lone-parenthood situation and policy debate in Britain. The New Deal for Lone Parents is the first of the Labour policies affecting lone-parent families, and it remains the policy component uniquely associated with this group. The objectives of the programme are ‘for lone parents to be offered advice by the Employment Service to develop a package of job search, training and after-school care to help them off benefits and into work’. The chapter also outlines other policies directed towards the employment of lone parents, explores the outcomes so far, and discusses future policy directions.

Keywords:   lone parent, Britain, poverty, policy, employment

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