ITV News Reporter Ravneet Nandra reports on a single mum who says the financial support for parents is outdated
A single mum has told ITV Central she cannot afford to return to work without being forced into poverty because of childcare costs.
Raven Dixon-Bigg, who worked four different jobs throughout the Covid pandemic even when she was eight months' pregnant, told ITV Central: "The system does not support a working parent, going to work, nursery costs are more than wages".
The 23-year-old, who is also a former beauty pageant queen from Tipton, said she wants to continue in full-time work now that her baby is 10 months old.
But she's not been allowed childcare grants and said she was told by one Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) adviser that as a new mum she shouldn't be working.
She said the system is outdated, negatively affects women and unfair for parents who want to work.
"What I can't understand is people calling me a scrounger for wanting to work," Raven Dixon-Bigg says
Ms Dixon-Bigg said: "Because I've had a child, I'm not meant to go to work or because I've become a mother, I don't have career goals or I don't want career progression and you know what I can't understand is people calling me a scrounger for wanting to work."
She adds: "I find that going into work gives me the mental break and mental encouragement that I need and also for financial stability I'm not going to get where I need to get in life sitting at home on benefits it's as simple as that."
The Department for Work and Pensions said Ms Dixon-Biggs doesn't need to work as part of her benefit claim.
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We have explained clearly to Ms Dixon-Biggs that she is not required to do any work related activity as part of her benefit claim, but she is free to do so if she chooses."
"We are happy to look at supporting her with childcare costs if she is eligible and can provide the necessary documentation, but as she has already started working then she is not entitled to additional support through the Flexible Support Fund."