Press Release: HSE move on vaccination centre access for parents without childcare welcomed

One Family, Ireland’s national organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating has welcomed the decision by the HSE for vaccination centres to accommodate parents who have no one to look after children. The decision comes following weeks of work by One Family and following incidents of parents with children being turned away from vaccination centres.

One Family CEO Karen Kiernan said, “While it would be better if children were not brought to vaccination centres, this simply is not possible for all parents. We are pleased the HSE have listened to us and to the real experience of parents and now have a system in place for those minority of parents who must bring their children particularly as it comes at a time when younger parents are being vaccinated and schools are on holiday.”

Ms Kiernan continued, “We’d encourage parents who have a vaccination appointment and have no one to mind their child to phone HSELive on 1800 700 700. We have been assured by the HSE that vaccination centres will work with parents to arrange an alternative. We’d ask parents who have tried the number and are having issues to let us know on 016629212 and we will follow up with the HSE.”

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HSE guidelines:

https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/get-the-vaccine/going-to-a-vaccination-centre/

If you have no one to mind your child

Phone HSELive on 1800 700 700 and ask for a new appointment if you cannot get anyone to mind your child while you get your vaccine.

If you cannot get anyone to mind your child, at any time, and you must bring them with you, phone HSE Live. They will work with your vaccination centre team to find the safest time that you can attend with your child.

Your child will need to stay with you at all times. You will need to give contact details for an emergency contact who can collect your child if you become unwell after your vaccine.

About One Family:

One Family is Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services.

These services include the askonefamily national helpline on 01-662 9212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals.

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 01 622 9212 or 085 7241294

Policy Submission | National Equity of Access Plan for Higher Education

Education is the key to unlocking quality employment opportunities for people parenting alone and sharing parenting, which has a crucial part to play in breaking cycles of disadvantage and poverty. One Family’s policy team has made a submission to the Higher Education Authority on the National Equity of Access Plan for Higher Education. To read our submission click here:

Press release: Children’s rights should guide family law reform.

Children’s rights should guide family law reform.

Courts should be last resort for separating families, where there are no safety concerns.

 

Wednesday 2 June 2021

A webinar on family law reform has been told children’s rights should guide family law reform. The Building a Family Law System for Children webinar hosted by One Family, heard from national and international experts with panellists from the Department of Justice, Courts Service, academia from the UK and Ireland and a High Court Judge from Northern Ireland.

Dr Jan Ewing of the University of Exeter’s Law School and member of the Family Solutions Group which authored the report “What about me?”) said, “Ireland has the opportunity to learn from the experience and mistakes of England and Wales to create a world-class family law system centred on the rights, needs and safety of the child. Where there are safety issues, these must be prioritised and accessible, affordable access to legal advice and the Family Court are needed. However, in the absence of safety or other welfare concerns, court should be a last resort for parenting disputes. Instead, parents need access to information, advice and well-signposted support to help them to look beyond their relationship issues and toward the rights and needs of their child and the child’s right to have a relationship with both parents.”

Dr Stephanie Holt from Trinity College Dublin said, “In domestic violence the perpetrator targets the whole family. However, our family law system focuses on the perpetrator and immediate victim, failing to understand what it is like to be a child and live with domestic violence and abuse. In reforming family law we must challenge the myth that it is possible to be an abusive partner and a good father; this is simply is not true. Doing so however involves prioritising children’s voice and children’s rights and ensuring mechanisms are in place so the voice of the child is understood at every step of the process.”

Karen Kiernan CEO of One Family said, “We know from our work with families that they are often traumatised from going through the adversarial family courts and this can cause long-lasting damage to children. We strongly advocate for a Family Law Service Model to be developed alongside the new legislation to provide assessments, safety and family supports to families before and during court. When families separate or have issues that need to be agreed, the first responder shouldn’t be a solicitor – instead child-focussed, affordable supports should be available locally”.

Emer Darcy, Head of Family Law Reform, The Courts Service said, “The Courts Service is looking forward to continuing to collaborate with One Family as we progress with our Modernisation Programme to deliver better outcomes for all our users including children and families.”

About One Family:

One Family is Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services.

These services include the askonefamily national helpline on 01-662 9212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals.

For further information visit: www.onefamily.ie.

Services such as our Tusla-funded, Separating Well for Children project show the depth of demand that exists from people going through the private family law system. This project deescalates the conflict within the family using mediation, parenting support as well as creative therapies for children, allowing parents to put aside their own grievances and focus on the welfare of their children.

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 01 622 9212 or 085 7241294

 

One Family submission on the review of the Student Grant Scheme – SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland)

One Family have made a submission to the  review of the Student Grant Scheme – SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland).  To read the submission including One Family’s recommendations for changes to the SUSI grant to improve access and administration of the scheme for one-parent families click here.