Letter: Help for mothers to prevent 'home alone' children

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am sure many people will share the 'how could she do that?' attitude of the judge in the case of the mother who left her two-year- old daughter 'home alone', but I hope they will also consider how many more single mothers will be forced into this kind of situation by the Government's review of the benefits system.

If even some of the recommendations of the No Turning Back Group - including its preposterously titled 'Whole Person Benefit' scheme - are adopted, many more women may have to resort to desperate measures to support themselves and their children ('Tory right aims for abolition of most benefits', 3 August).

Promoting an affordable, widely available system of child care would do far more to make working mothers self-supporting and reduce benefit costs than the Government's moralistic stance, as well as decreasing the likelihood of 'home alone' cases.

A further way for the Government to gain a much-needed sense of credibility is to launch a more than perfunctory review of a legal system that jails this 'home alone' mother for six months, but finds it beyond its powers to detain a persistent child molester considered a serious risk to the public.

Yours faithfully,

CLARE JOHNSON

Chelmsford, Essex

3 August

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