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Policy Brief

Supporting Lone Parents and Their Children in Europe

Insights from a Dialogue Between Researchers and Policy Makers

Key messages:


  • Lone parenthood should always be defined in a way that all types of lone parents are included, regardless of their partnership status and the support provided by the other parent. 
  • Research infrastructures creating longitudinal data with detailed information on family trajectories should be further supported and promoted. This is necessary to identify whether and at which stage of the life course individuals enter into lone parenthood and eventually leave it, as well as how this phase is experienced and its consequences for individuals and their children.
  • Policies should provide universal social benefits for disadvantaged persons and families in general. Targeted policies may also be needed as a way to support lone parent families in their specific needs.
  • If states fully support gender equality, then they are also supporting lone parents overcoming their key challenges. This can be concretely done for example by offering childcare benefits, well-paid parental leave and care credits in pension systems to all parents, and by creating measures to effectively reduce class inequalities, particularly by tackling female disadvantages on the labour market. The approval of the EU Work Life Balance Directive would constitute an important step forward in this direction.

 


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