Some of SPAN's policy work is done in collaboration with other organisations as this can make our voice stronger to influence policy makers and politicians. It also ensures the best use of limited charitable money by avoiding a duplication of effort.
SPAN is a member of the Family and Work Group that is run by the charity Working Families. Other members of this group include such charities as Maternity Action, Grandparents Plus and the National Childbirth Trust. We meet every few months to discuss policy and how we will co-ordinate work together on an issue. For instance as a Group we held a meeting with members of the House of Lords who were considering a new piece law about families (called the Family and Children's Bill). Different members of our Group worked on different parts of the Bill and spoke and provided written briefings on our different areas of expertise. SPAN suggested improvements to open up more advertised flexible jobs to help single parents move into work that fitted in with their caring responsibilities (see responses section).
SPAN works with other organisations on the Lone Parent Voluntary Group that is chaired by the Department of Work and Pensions. Other charities that sit on this Group include Gingerbread, Citizen's Advice Bureau and the Child Poverty Action Group. We work as a Group to improve the way that policy is developed and services are provided to single parents for instance at Jobcentre Plus and on the Work Programme.
SPAN is a member of the Women and Economy Group that is run by the Fawcett Society (a registered charity that promotes equality for women). SPAN highlights on the Group the particular needs of single parents. Including single parents moving into or in employment and the importance of better quality flexible work including opportunities to progress and better paid part-time employment. We contributed to the charity's publication the "Economy Report: Looking at Job Prospects following Austerity and the Recession"
In Bristol, SPAN works closely with Bristol Women's Voices ensuring that the particular needs of single parents and women with language and literacy barriers are taken into account in responses to local authority consultations. SPAN also sit on the economy group in the Women's Commission and work alongside Bristol's Fairness Commission.