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EDITIONS
 Friday, 10 November, 2000, 14:14 GMT
Lone parents 'living in poverty'
Lone parent
Single parent families are often among the poorest
Lone parents are among the most vulnerable groups in society, according to new research.

One Plus says that almost a third of lone parents are unable to work because of illness and disability.

The agency is hosting a conference in Glasgow on Friday to highlight the issue and seek solutions.

One Plus - the UK's largest lone parent organisation - claims that 40% of families in Glasgow's poorest estates are single parent ones.

It says health statistics show that two thirds of single parents are living on or below income support level - compared to 27% of two parent families.

Graffitti
The government has promised to fight poverty
There is no working adult in more than 60% of lone parent households.

The group says that with so many living in this kind of poverty - often in bad housing - mental and physical ill health is common.

The research also shows that a quarter of lone parents reported that they have a child with a long term illness or disability.

Director John Findlay said a radical rethink of how health resources were targeted at lone parents and children was now needed.

He said One Plus welcomed Scottish Health Minister Susan Deacon's recent pledge to tackle inequality and close the gap between rich and poor.

Lack of training

"The root causes of ill health are now widely recognised - poverty, poor housing, low self esteem, the lack of training, educational and economic opportunity," he said.

"But are the policies in place to tackle them working effectively?"

More than 200 lone parents from the west of Scotland are expected to take part in the group's conference in Glasgow.

Last year the group attacked government pledges to eliminate child poverty within 20 years.

It launched the criticism after research showed that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to face hardship themselves when they grow up.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  BBC Scotland's Cameron Buttle reports
"Campaigners say lone parents are caught in a vicious circle"
See also:

20 Nov 99 | Scotland
19 Nov 99 | Scotland
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