No margin for error: fifteen years in the working lives of lone mothers and their children

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Over the past two decades, the emphasis on paid work has become one of the defining features of social security policy in the UK. Lone mothers and their families have been one of the key groups affected. In this article we focus on the working and family lives of lone mothers and their children over time, drawing on material from a long-term qualitative research study, and setting this in the context of key policy developments. We explore the long-term consequences of trying to sustain work, and manage low-income family life, as children grow up and needs change over time. This highlights some of the tensions and limitations in family support and relationships when resources are limited. We reflect on the links between insecurity, legacies and the state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Policy
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020



  • lone mothers
  • Work
  • Welfare
  • young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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