More than three-quarters of lone parents who return to work feel more independent and more confident, research has shown.
More than 1,000 lone parents were asked to compare their working lives to the time spent caring full-time for their children.
Most agreed that the benefits of work went beyond just financial security, with more than half (57%) of those back at work saying that work made them feel more satisfied with life generally.
The research was commissioned by Jobcentre Plus http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/index.html and carried out by One Parent Families, the national charity for lone parents and their children.
Respondents who were working were particularly positive about the wider impact of work on their lives:
- 69% said it gave them a sense of identity
- 67% said work made them feel more sociable
- 65% said working gave them a sense of achievement.
Those who were not currently working tended to agree. However, both groups cited childcare and flexible hours as a key issue when entering work, with 67% of those currently in work, saying that they felt it had been difficult to find a job that fitted in with childcare or school hours.
Chris Pond, chief executive of One Parent Families, said: “We know that nine out of 10 lone parents want to work when the time is right for them and their children and this survey shows that work can bring real benefits.
“But the survey also highlights the barriers to finding work that many lone parents face, and with which they need help and support.”