Lone parents and welfare-to-work reform: A policy appraisal

Tina Haux

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

The current welfare-to-work reform in Britain is activating lone parents with older children and marks a step-change in the treatment of lone parents. While there has been some support for using age of child as selection criterion for the activation of lone parents, it is not clear whether this equates to selecting by ‘ability to work’ if interpreted as ability to obtain a job.

The commitment of the current government to evidence-based-policy-making and the large amount of research available in this area form the justification for carrying out a policy appraisal of this aspect of the current welfare-to-work reform. The potential and likelihood to make substantial progress towards the lone parent employment and the child poverty target of the selection criteria will be assessed and compared to alternative approaches. Five selection models are identified in the international policy review: selection by age of child, transition status, employability or by caseworkers and finally, a voluntary model. The analysis is based on a critical discussion of the available evidence, an international policy review and secondary analysis of the Families and Children Study.

I argue that the current approach of selecting lone parents by the age of child is unlikely to result in substantial progress towards the lone parent employment target and instead likely to create a substantial group of long-term unemployed lone parents. Alternative approaches, such as using different selection criteria that take into account the employability of lone parents are more likely to make progress towards the employment and child poverty target.

LanguageEnglish
QualificationPh.D.
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Millar, Jane, Supervisor
  • Harkness, Susan, Supervisor
Award date1 Jul 2009
StatusUnpublished - Jul 2009

Fingerprint

parents
welfare
employability
poverty
reform
secondary analysis
ability
activation
evidence
commitment
Group

Keywords

  • lone parents
  • comparative
  • FACS
  • evidence-based policy making
  • activation
  • labour
  • welfare-to-work

Cite this

Lone parents and welfare-to-work reform: A policy appraisal. / Haux, Tina.

2009.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Haux, T 2009, 'Lone parents and welfare-to-work reform: A policy appraisal', Ph.D., University of Bath.
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