Resources and Grants Providing Financial Help for Single Parents

| 8 min read Uncategorized

Parents in the UK are under tremendous financial pressure from all sides. Raising a child is expensive as it is – let alone during a cost of living crisis or if you’ve got to do it on one income.

According to the Child Poverty Action Group, the cost to raise a child for a single parent is around £200k as of 2022. We also saw the biggest deterioration of living standards in 2021-2022 since 2012 – meaning things are getting harder and money has to stretch further.

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Government resources for single parents

If you’re a single parent, there are a number of support mechanisms from the government which can help you.

1. Child benefit

In the UK, you get child benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child. You can claim this up until they are 16, or up until they are 20 if they are in approved education or training. There’s no limit to the number of children in your family you can claim child benefit for and you will usually get this allowance every four weeks.

2. Guardian’s Allowance

You can claim Guardian’s allowance if you’re bringing up a child or children whose parents have died. You can claim this on top of child benefit and it’s usually around £20 per week.

3. Working Tax Credit

In the UK, you can make a claim for Working Tax Credit if you get child tax credit. You have to work a certain number of hours each week to qualify, depending on your circumstances, which you can view on the website. You must be working for someone else as their worker or employee, or be self employed, or a mixture of the two.

 4. Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit is a benefit that helps with the cost of raising a child if you’re on a lower income. It is largely being replaced by universal credit, so you can only make a claim for child tax credit if you’re getting Working Tax Credit.

5. Disability Living Allowance for children

The DLA may be an option to help if you’ve got a child who needs more care or looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability. It’s for children under 16 and they must meet the requirements, available on the website.

 6. Parents’ Learning Allowance

If you’re in full time education and have children, you may be able to get financial support through the Parents’ Learning Allowance. This won’t affect your other benefits and is also on top of any student loan you might have.

7. Care to Learn

Additionally to the Parents’ Learning Allowance above, you could also get help to pay for childcare costs whilst in education. You have to be under 20 at the start of the course to qualify for this, however.

8. Universal Credit Childcare

If you qualify for Universal Credit, you could also be able to claim back up to 85% of costs for childcare. There are conditions to this – you must usually be working or have a job offer.

9. Free school meals

Free school meals could help the purse strings if you’re raising a child alone. It means your child gets a free meal during their school day. There’s a list of criteria you need to meet for your child to be eligible, including if you’re on income support or universal credit. The list is available to view on the Government website here.

10. 30 hours tax free childcare

Childcare comes at a significant cost – and may be even more essential if you’re a single parent. If you live in England and your child is three to four years old, you might be eligible for 30 hours tax free childcare with an approved provider.

11. Tax free childcare

The Government also has a scheme offering money towards the cost of childcare. You could get up to £500 every three months – up to £2,000 per year – for each of your children towards the cost of childcare. It can go towards approved childcare providers, including play schemes, after school clubs, nannies and childminders.

12. Healthy Start

The Healthy Start Scheme can help you if you’re 10 weeks or more pregnant or have a child under four. It can help with buying healthy foods and you could also get free vitamins.

Scholarships and grants for single mothers and fathers

There are also a number of scholarships and grants available to help single parents on their journey in education and training, too.

13. City and Guilds bursaries

City and Guilds bursaries provide funding for training to help people get the skills they need. Once you’ve got them you don’t have to worry about paying it back. These bursaries cover the total cost of studying – the training programme plus any additional tools needed to complete. Usually they are for between £2,500 to £5,000.

14. NHS bursaries

If you’re studying to be a doctor or dentist, an NHS bursary may be available to help with the costs of doing so. You may also be eligible if you’re a dental hygienist or therapist, or if your course started before August 2017 it could also be available for chiropodists, nurses, midwives, dieticians and a range of other professions.

15. Social work bursaries

Similar to NHS bursaries, if you’re studying to be a social worker there could be a fund available for you. A social work bursary could help with living costs and tuition fees and it doesn’t have to be paid back.

Charities that help single parents

Along with help from the Government, there are also a number of charities there to support single parents through raising children.

17. Gingerbread

Gingerbread has been ‘speaking out for single parents’ since 1918. They’ve got a helpline for single parents, addressing financial, emotional and practical problems when extra support is needed. They’ve got a number of friendship groups across England and Wales to provide a support network for those parenting alone and they also do policy and campaign work around the issues single parents face.

18. Family Action

Family Action works with over 60,000 families who are experiencing poverty, isolation or disadvantage. They have services in communities and support from early years right through to adult mental health and wellbeing.

19. Coram

Coram provides support on a plethora of family-related things. From offering legal services to children and young people who need them to advocating for young people in care and matching children and families in adoption.

20. Home Start

Home Start has a network of trained volunteers and experts who support families if times get tough. They supported 56,000 children across the UK last year. If you need support, Home Start volunteers work with you to get through the tough times. They support with mental health, isolation, physical health problems or bereavement to ensure children have the best early years possible.

How crowdfunding can help for single mothers and fathers

We know you often face incredible odds and difficult challenges as a single parent—dealing with everything from minor medical emergencies to serious medical bills, financial problems, or employment crises. If it’s tough to find support for these challenges through government support, crowdfunding can reduce those financial pressures and provide much-needed financial relief.

With crowdfunding on GoFundMe, it’s about telling the story on your fundraiser in a way that compels people to support your cause—and gives them an opportunity to help your family in a very clear, specific, and positive way.

Success stories of single parents on GoFundMe

If times are tough in your family, there’s a village there waiting to support you. Here at GoFundMe we’ve seen success stories of parents crowdfunding for that extra boost.

Help Nik to pay it forward

Nik is a single mum who raised two boys whilst studying at the same time. She won a place to study an Oxford University Executive MBA to help her grow her own business – and managed to get scholarships. But she needed to put down a deposit for the course to be able to access these, so her friend started this GoFundMe to raise money so she could do that.

Help my boys and I avoid becoming homeless

Fergie sadly lost their partner of 17 years in April 2022. It brought a depression and then Fergie lost their job, leaving them to deal with financial stress along with the grief of themselves and their two sons. Their landlord then had a ‘change of circumstances’ and evicted them – so Fergie started this GoFundMe to help raise money for deposit and rent on a new place.

Why GoFundMe?

We have become a trusted leader in online fundraising since 2010. In the UK, there’s no fee to start or manage your fundraiser on GoFundMe. However, there is one small transaction fee per donation that covers all your fundraising needs. Everything else goes directly to your cause, because that’s what matters most. On GoFundMe, you’re covered by the first and only donor protection guarantee: the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee. Plus, you can begin withdrawing funds as soon as you start receiving donations.

People use GoFundMe every day to offer financial help for single parents—raising money for university fees, extracurricular programs, educational travel, medical bills, and more. We’re here to help. Along with this article, we have many more resources for single mothers, fathers, kids, and families on our blog. Start your fundraiser you find a financial lifeline.

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Written by Brittany Chambers

I believe we all have the power to make a difference. Through informative and heartfelt content, I hope to create change and inspire others to give back to those who need it most.