Submission on the Family Court Bill

One Family have today made a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice in relation to the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill.  To read our submission click here.

Submissions on Parent’s Leave and Benefit

One Family this week made two submission to the Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration in relation to the General Scheme of the Parent’s Leave and Benefit (Amendment) Bill.

The first submission was on behalf of One Family, that submission can be read here and the second was a joint submission with other NGOs (Barnardos , Children’s Rights Alliance , FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) , Focus Ireland , National Women’s Council , One Family , Society of St Vincent de Paul , SPARK and Treoir) as part of the National One-Parent Family Alliance, that submission can be read here.

A third of one-parent families surveyed have been pushed onto social welfare because of a lack of childcare

Childcare survey

As the economy re-opens and people are called back to work, we are asking parents to complete a quick two-minute survey about their childcare concerns and whether they think it will impact their income/job security.

To fill out this anonymous survey click here:

We are looking to quantify parents’ concerns as part of the #ChildcarePreventsHomelessness campaign with Focus Ireland, Children’s Right Alliance, Barnardos Ireland, Treoir, FLAC, Dress for Success and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

One Family’s tips on how to make blended families work makes the news

One Family’s tips on how to make blended families work was featured in an article by Sheila Wayman in the Irish Times on Wednesday 2 September. The article featured comment by One Family’s CEO Karen Kiernan on how to make blended families work – to read the article click: Irish Times article:

Meanwhile, our helpline staff have come up with a list of books that parents could find helpful when starting conversations with children about blended and shared families. Diverse families: onefamily.ie/booklist/diver and Blended Families: onefamily.ie/booklist/blend

One Family’s tips on how to make blended families work:

  • Never presume just because you as adults are in a good relationship that your children will be overjoyed to meet your new partner’s children;
  • Ensure your couple relationship is strong and stable before subjecting children to a blended family. You will need to agree how you both play a role in parenting each other’s children, especially if they are young and you are left in charge at times;
  • It must be made very clear to children that new partners are not replacing mum/dad. They should always call the new partner by their first name;
  • Children usually choose who they become friends with, so being landed with someone else’s children all of a sudden is not easy and they may not get along. Yet they need to feel at home in each parent’s home;
  • Children want to spend time with parents and not always with new blended families, unless you are very lucky. Sharing you may be a challenge;
  • If you have no children but are moving in with your new partner and their children, you need to do it in stages. It is a bit like being an uncle/aunt. You need to support the children to have a good relationship with both biological parents and extended family – this comes before your family;
  • Couple time is crucial. If you get caught up in childcare and parenting with no time as a couple, you will fall down. You must have a strong relationship, take time to talk and compromise, so you can parent children in the one home and meet their needs;
  • Include children in the planning to become a blended family. Include the other parent(s) in this plan too;
  • Explain family forms to children – do not presume they get it. Be factual and help them understand about whose mum/dad is whose biologically and otherwise, about step siblings and grandparents etc Help them explain their family form to others and to feel proud of the family form they belong to.

For more parenting tips click here:

Webinar: Building a Family Law System for Families – recording now available

Thank you to everyone who was able to join our webinar on Building a Family Law System for Families. The panel was chaired by One Family CEO Karen Kiernan with panellists including Deputy Secretary General, Department Justice & Equality, Oonagh Buckley, former CEO of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in England and Wales (Cafcass), Anthony Douglas,  His Honour Judge Colin Daly – President of the District Court and Peter Mullan – Head of Circuit & District Courts Directorate, Court Service of Ireland.

The panel looked at the experience of England and Wales in reforming their family law system and the proposed family law reforms set out in the Irish Government’s Programme for Government. A recording of the webinar is now available: https://youtu.be/ssGCZSsePng