Family separation

Data to understand the lives of separated families

This project will assess the adequacy of current and planned future data to answer a range of questions about the lives of separating and separated families, and make recommendations for the design of any future data collection needed.

Due to complete February 2017

Kids aren’t free

This Nuffield Foundation funded study provided the first evidence on the maintenance situations of single parents on benefit since the requirement to use the Child Support Agency (CSA) was removed and the policy of reducing benefits in line with the level of maintenance received was abolished (in 2008 and 2010 respectively).

Researchers from NatCen, Gingerbread and BPSR compared data collected from a 2012 telephone survey of 760 single parents on benefits and 40 in depth interviews with data from the 2007 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Survey of Relationship Breakdown.

Lone mothers, work and depression

For Gingerbread and in collaboration with Susan Harkness from the University of Bath this study used data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to examine the changing relationship between work and mental health for lone mothers at two points in time. Our quantitative analysis compared the influence of work on the risk of depression among lone mothers compared to mothers in couples. We complemented the data analysis with 20 qualitative interviews conducted with lone mothers who had some experience of poor mental health. The aim of this work was to provide a richer, more up-to-date understanding of the factors influencing the complex relationship between work and depression among lone mothers, particularly in light of a changed policy and economic environment since 2008.