Discussion 3: Parental working patterns

Q1. How can services support women to balance entering and remaining in the labour market while meeting family needs? What does this mean for lone mothers?

  • Juggling childcare can have a negative impact on parents - mental health and subsequent impact on children.
  • We need affordable, quality childcare
  • Continuity of care very important
  • Often working does not mean that you are better off
  • Parents have very different experiences
  • Barriers to parents accessing support:   
    • Childcare
    • Confidence
    • Domestic abuse
    • Debt
    • Substance abuse
    • Isolation
    • Bedroom tax
    • Support with literacy
  • More support for women at an earlier phase/stage using peer mentoring
  • How we support families during transitions, what support is needed - early years to primary school

Q2. How can we best support lone fathers?

  • Stigma for groups - toddlers - are they just for mothers?
  • How do dads feel? Not represented in groups
  • How do young fathers gain support? What support is available? What are their rights?
  • How do we promote fathers getting involved?
  • Good example of dads' service - Dads Rock and OPFS dads projects
  • Better sharing of experiences between service

Q3. Women are almost six times as likely to be economically inactive on account of looking after the home or family than men. What does this mean in terms of how we deliver family support and/or childcare?

  • Traditionally women/gender roles - stay at home and looked after children
  • We need quality, regular childcare
  • Family friendly policies that fit in with family time
  • Confidence - how do we support women?
  • Engage employers to facilitate family friendly working policies
  • Conflict between colleagues - provide flexible working for all
  • Working from home
  • NHS - parental leave, parent friendly days
  • More understanding for caring roles across the board!
  • Very difficult in school holidays could employers provide time off?

Making jobs broader - supporting employees to up skill