Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Single Fathers - Why don't they get the support given to single mothers?

We read all the time in the newspapers of all the support being given by the state to single mothers and one would assume that single fathers trying to bring up a child would get similar help.
The son of close friends of ours has recently been put into this position.  His wife died of cancer when their daughter was just over three years old and he has been left in the difficult position of trying to earn a living and look after the child. Far from offering help, the Social Services seem to want to prove that he is incapable of looking after a child, and particularly a girl by himself, presumably with the aim of taking her into care and possibly adopted.
Why shouldn't a father be capable of raising a daughter? Why is it acceptable in the eyes of Social Services that a single mother should be provided with accommodation and encouraged to raise her child, however dissolute her life style might be, yet a widower father who dearly loves his child is given minimal help? As he remarked, apparently the only males whom are considered capable of bringing up a child, in the eyes of Social Services,  appear to be gays!

Fortunately, in this case, the grandparents are prepared to help to look after the child, but like myself, they are well past their biblical "use by date" and are finding a round trip of sixty miles nearly every day is getting a bit too much at their ages. Is it too unreasonable for the state to give the father some help with day nursery costs, or perhaps some assistance to find affordable accommodation nearer to the child's grandparents so that they will be able to take and collect their granddaughter from school when the time comes? Here is someone who wants to work, who doesn't want to live at the expense of the state. It would cost the system a lot less to give him a bit of support now until he can get organised and back on his feet, than for him to "throw in the towel", loose his job and go on the dole. But the way the system works, if he did the latter, he would get all sorts of help.

This is not the first time I have come across this problem;  When I was working a member of my staff lost his wife, leaving him with  two children. I gave him as much latitude as I could with timekeeping and the like and other members of our shift were prepared to assist by covering his duties if necessary. But he got zero help from management. If it had been a female member of staff losing her husband, I am quite sure that our personnel section would have been rushing around offering every assistance.

There is definitely severe prejudice against fathers bringing up children by themselves, and it is even worse in these two cases as the fathers were widowers, not unmarried females bringing fatherless children into the world in order to provide a state meal ticket.

So I mist reiterate my original question
Why don't single fathers get the support given to single mothers?

1 comment:

  1. It's just because he's a single father, but because he is a respectable widower that the state are giving him no help and every trouble.

    These kinds of stories make my blood boil.