In October 2022, COFACE and Women 4 Women Czech Republic co-hosted a European expert meeting to explore the effectiveness of family policies to address the realities of single parent families.
Single parenthood, like any family type, is not a homogenous block and covers different realities: headed by mothers, fathers, and even by a grandparent raising their grandchildren, having one child or being a large family, being from a migrant background, having a child or parent with disabilities.
Each policy should aim for universal results by triggering a two-track way of thinking from the beginning (i.e. mixing universal measures for all families and targeted measures for families in vulnerable situations). This cannot be treated in parallel or one after the other, this universal particularism needs to be integrated in the thinking from the outset. This will allow for policies that aim to prevent and redress the situation, mobilising all levels of governance in an integrated way. In order to do that, the policy-making should be more inclusive and allow concerned families and their representative organizations to participate to their shaping, monitoring and evaluation.
The European expert meeting objectives were the following:
- Explore the reality of single parents across different EU countries, using a multi-generation lens;
- Discuss existing challenges and solutions in policy and practice;
- Review family policies to integrate and respond to diverse needs of families of today, in light of developments under the EU Child Guarantee action plans;
- Boost the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, namely principles 2 (gender equality), 3 (equal opportunities), 9 (work-life balance) and access to childcare and support to children (11)