Do single dads get a fair deal? That is the question posed by the Equal Opportunities Committee today with the launch of its inquiry on issues facing single fathers.
Despite there being almost 30,000 single fathers in Scotland, there is a lack of information about the unique practical, social, and financial challenges they face as distinct to single mothers.
The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee wants to fill in the gaps and has published a call for evidence asking single fathers and fathers with shared custody to respond with their own experiences.
The Committee wants to know about any specific day-to-day issues and challenges single fathers face in the workplace, family or social settings. Are there any specific challenges around finance or arrangements on access and care of their children? What kinds of support and services are available to single fathers and do they meet their needs? Do single fathers get equal access to the range of public facilities when out with their children?
Committee Convener Margaret McCulloch MSP said:
“We know there are more households headed up by single fathers than ever before, yet there is no comprehensive picture of the experiences of single fathers and fathers with shared custody of children in Scotland. That is something our inquiry aims to change.
“While we are fortunate enough to have Christian Allard MSP on our Committee whose experience as a single father will help inform our inquiry, we are keen to hear from the hundreds of other single dads across Scotland on the unique practical, social and personal challenges they also face.”
The call for evidence on single fathers can be accessed via the link below and is open until 21 February 2014:
Equal Opportunities Committee
In 2012, 400,000 families were headed by lone fathers, representing 13.5% of all single-parent UK households according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). With an average family size of 2.32 that figure represents 927,000 people in the UK.
There are 29,932 male lone parents with both dependent and non-dependent children in Scotland according to the Labour Force Survey from the Office for national Statistics.
The Equal Opportunities Committee will begin taking oral evidence as part of its inquiry in Spring 2014.