Welfare Reform

Over the next 3 years more than 25,000 single parents in Scotland will be affected by changes to Welfare Benefits introduced by the Westminster Government. The stated rationale for the changes is to tackle child poverty through engaging more lone parents in employment. However, we are concerned as to whether the infrastructure in Scotland that will be needed to support single parents into employment is going to be adequate for the task.

Campaign items

  • Closure of Glasgow Job Centres

    OPFS submission to DWP closing Glasgow jobcentres

  • Closure of Glasgow Jobcentres

    One Parent Families Scotland believes that the closure of half of Glasgow’s job centres will have a devastating impact on parents who rely on the service, particularly single parents and will have a negative impact on the aim of supporting …

  • OPFS Briefing for MSP’s on the Devolution Of Employability Services

    The devolution of employability services to Scotland is important because it offers opportunities to the Scottish Government to make changes which could actively support single parents to overcome some of the barriers they face. It argues the proposal that claimants …

  • OPFS Briefing: Welfare Reform and Work Bill Report Stage

    There are many aspects of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill which give us very grave cause for concern. The Bill will weaken the Child Poverty Act, introduce greater conditionality and sanctions and make severe cuts to a range of social security and tax credit entitlements. This briefing concentrates on a number of key clauses (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15).

  • OPFS Submission: Evidence to the Welfare Reform Committee on Future Social Security Powers

    We have submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee on the Future Delivery of Social Security in Scotland, indicating that we want to see newly devolved social security powers for Scotland reflect SCoWR principles.

  • Policy priorities to support one-parent families

    Having consulted single parents about their key concerns and the kind of changes that could make a difference to their families, we propose five cross-cutting themes and ten policy priorities to help tackle child poverty.

  • OPFS Submission: Evidence to Welfare Reform Committee on Welfare Reform and Women

    We have submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Welfare Reform Committee inquiry on women and welfare reform, highlighting that the fear and threat of sanctions is sometimes forcing mothers into making decisions they would not choose, as parents, to make in the best interests of their children.

  • OPFS Submission: Benefit sanctions policy beyond the Oakley review

    Our submission to the Work and Pensions Committee Inquiry into Benefit Sanctions focuses on conditionality and the revised benefits sanction regime, which is having a huge impact on single parents and their children.


We have taken the lead with Action for Children and other children’s organisations to lobby Westminster for changes to be made to the Welfare Reform Bill around conditionality and childcare as well as making clear our concerns around changes to Child Maintenance.

One Parent Families Scotland has a number of significant concerns about the UK Government’s Welfare Reform proposals, and especially about the risk of sanctions being imposed upon lone parents unable to access work due to a lack of suitable childcare.

Previous Work

  • We led, along with Action for Children, a UK wide alliance of over 40 organisations which lobbied MPs and then Peers during the House of Commons and subsequent House of Lords’ consideration of the legislation. The aim of the campaign was to try and prevent sanctions being imposed upon lone parents.
  • We have worked with Baroness Ruth Lister to ensure Scottish concerns around welfare reform are raised in the House of Lords.
  • We have had meetings with DWP Universal Credit officials in London.
  • We have met with Lord Freud on issues affecting lone parents around welfare reform.

Speaking Out

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Registered as: One Parent Families Scotland, a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered at Edinburgh under number 094860. Scottish Charity Number SC006403