Letter: Lone-parent success story is there for anyone to read

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The Independent Online
Sir: A century ago, social order was 'threatened' by the abandoned children who inhabited our city's streets. Now social order is 'threatened' by lone parents. Why do politicians not see the connection?

The level of child abandonment in Europe before this century often approached 25 per cent of the child population. Present-day Third World cities continue to demonstrate this phenomenon. Britain now has few totally abandoned children, but an apparently higher percentage of single parents. The connection: lone parents who would otherwise abandon their children are now supported to keep them at home.

Supporting lone parents is cheaper for the state than providing orphanages, or letting children roam the streets. In historical context, present-day lone parents are saving the nation considerable sums of money.

Politically, lone parents should be a success story. They reflect intelligent government policy, appropriate welfare practice, and the extraordinary achievements of individual parents and children when given a modicum of support. You would have to be a politician not to see this]

Yours faithfully,

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS

Norah Fry Research Centre

University of Bristol

Bristol

12 October

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