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Single parents: Lucienne's story


© Comstock
© Comstock


But how practical is it that lone parents are forced into employment? Yes it will reduce the UK government’s benefits bill by an estimated £380m, but many will struggle to balance childcare and working hours, not to mention loathe their lack of choice in the matter. The implications for the job market and childcare are also considerable, especially in an economic climate where more than two million people are unemployed mostly as a result of the recent recession.

Lucienne’s story
 In France, nearly 10% of households are run by lone parents, one of which is Lucienne Chalancon, who lives in Vannes. Lucienne is a widow and single parent of three children. She lost her husband in 1997 and says the state should distinguish between the circumstances of single parenthood.

She said: 'The government does not really help single parents who are in financial difficulty. It should distinguish between single-parent families caused by
death or lone parents caused by divorce. A single parent is a very heavy responsibility for the family head who raises only one child in all areas of life; the education of children, availability for children at any time, acting as an authoritarian and emotionally to try to have a balanced and happy family.'

Lucienne, a Home Carer, admits it was a struggle at times to balance child care with work. She said: “I found it very difficult because there was no special care and childcare was too expensive. So I often had a strong feeling of guilt in relation to my eldest son who had to look after the other two.”


Shila Meyer Behjat
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