Since 1990, Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) has been working in the UK and Europe to improve Government policies that affect single parent families. Through this work we give a voice to all single parents, but particularly those from diverse cultures and backgrounds living in poverty and isolation.
We focus on policy that impacts single parents concerning welfare reform and employment. Some of this work is done in collaboration with other organisations (see the page titled partnerships) whilst in some key areas SPAN takes a lead role. Involvement of single parents at every level of our policy and research work ensures that participation is at the heart of what we do.
Our aim with this work is to:
- Increase understanding of the complex needs of single parent families and the policies that best support them.
- Empower single parents to have a say.
- Influence national and local policy makers.
We do this by:
- Carrying out and publishing participatory research in partnership with other NGOs and universities.
- Delivering training on policy and research to single parents.
- Responding to Government consultations.
- Lobbying key parliamentarians.
"I stood up and gave a speech to MPs and baronesses... I was shaking. I felt really good after, amazing – not many people have got to do a thing like that... I didn't think I would ever do anything like that in a million years." Single parent who spoke at the research launch in Parliament
"The Lords and Ladies present were very receptive to our comments and asked lots of questions after I had addressed them. It was clearly understood that Job Centres often do not do enough to make lone parents aware of their rights as job seekers, or properly address the problems that face us when/if we do find a job. Most importantly, they did recognise that we do have a very strong case, which was so encouraging.
I'd like to say a very big "thank you" to ... SPAN for the chance to make our voices heard."
Single parent speaking to a group of peers in the House of Lords