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Cash and carePolicy challenges in the welfare state$
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Caroline Glendinning and Peter A. Kemp

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348562

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348562.001.0001

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Better off in work? Work, security and welfare for lone mothers

Better off in work? Work, security and welfare for lone mothers

(p.171) Thirteen Better off in work? Work, security and welfare for lone mothers
Cash and care

Jane Millar

Policy Press

This chapter draws on in-depth interviews with 50 lone mothers who had recently started work, in order to explore whether or not they felt themselves to be better off in work, and what they meant by this. These mothers clearly felt a strong push away from Income Support, with employment seen as a route to independence, which living on benefits did not provide. They wanted to work for more money but also for social contacts, self-esteem, and autonomy, and to feel that they have a purpose in life. Some of the women were also looking to the future, hoping to buy their own home, planning for their pensions, and thinking about the time when their children would grow up and leave home. But on the other hand, many were also anxious about leaving the relative security of Income Support for what were often potentially insecure, sometimes temporary jobs; about managing financially while waiting for wages and Tax Credits to stabilise into regular payments; and about coping with the demands of work.

Keywords:   single mothers, working mothers, employment, Income Support

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