Families, Relationships and Societies
An international journal of research and debate

Parenting in the pandemic: exploring the experiences of families with children on Universal Credit before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

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  • 1 University of Bath, , UK
  • | 2 University of Oxford, , UK
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The expansion of the UK’s support for families with children from the late 1990s was put into reverse over the decade from 2010. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, parents may have felt that they had less support from the government and increased private responsibility in bringing up the next generation. Drawing on qualitative interviews with parents in England and Scotland claiming Universal Credit, this article analyses parenting experiences for low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular concerning the costs of looking after children, caring for children, and family relationships/mental health. Our findings suggest that the privatisation of parenting in the UK has been further reinforced during the pandemic, with largely negative implications for families with children. The positive experiences for some with families must be supported by public policy change to persist.

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  • 1 University of Bath, , UK
  • | 2 University of Oxford, , UK

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