Everyone has the right to a life free from poverty. Single mothers strive to achieve a good life for their children, yet too many live in poverty and face significant barriers to wellbeing.

Our colleagues and network members, the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, have released the results of the largest national survey of single mothers. The report, One in eight families: Australian single mothers’ lives revealed, analyses responses from over 1000 single mothers across the country.

  • Over 70 per cent of respondents found it difficult or very difficult to meet their cost of living expenses, despite 65 per cent being in paid employment
  • 90 per cent of respondents are concerned about long term financial wellbeing
  • Despite this, single mothers are resilient and determined.

In an environment characterised by high costs of living, securing employment does not necessarily lead to improved circumstances for these families. According to one mum, “The thing that would make a real difference is a general shift in society to valuing care and recognising the value and costs of raising children”.

Single mothers are the most time poor people in our society. We know that placing pressure on single mothers with young children to obtain work and suspending their payments when they are unable to comply with mutual obligations puts children at risk. The Australian Government’s approach to single parents is flawed and is causing harm.

Treating Families Fairly adds our voices to the call for extending access to Parenting Payment Single until the youngest child reaches at least high school age and for the removal of payment suspension penalties.

You can read the full report here.

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Jenny Davidson, CEO Council of Single Mothers and their Children

Tel: 0407 697 976


Deb Tsorbaris, CEO Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

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