Audio interviews with One Family founders

As part of our 40th celebrations, we interviewed some of the original founder members of One Family – listen to their moving memories and insights into parenting alone 40 years ago, and how things have and haven’t changed….Evelyn Forde, Annette Hunter-EvansMargaret Murphy, Gráinne Farren  and one of the first staff members, Nuala Feric .

One Family’s New Future’s nominated for award


Our New Futures programme has been nominated for Social Innovation for Communities (SI-C) which aims to import successful solutions to solve critical social problems in Barcelona. The SI-C is an initiative by UpSocial, in partnership with the City of Barcelona, the Government of Catalonia and

New Futures provides a valuable solution to the challenge of increasing the opportunities of single-parent families with children and reduce their risk of exclusion and poverty.

New website for Children’s Referendum


A new website has been set up with information on the upcoming Children’s Referendum. It proposes to place a dedicated Article in the Constitution, which has children as its central focus.

Managing Family Separation workshop 24th October

One Family Parenting Co-ordinator Geraldine Kelly is giving a workshop on Managing Family Separation, for Dublin City Childcare Focus Group, it’s free of charge on Wednesday, 24th October from 6:00-8:30pm at Wynn’s Hotel, 35-39 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1

Topics covered will include:

  • • The relationship between the childcare provider and parent
  • • Telling a child about family separation
  • • Supporting the child’s needs
  • • Impact on the parents (resident and non-resident)
  • • Moving on—parenting plans
  • • New family dynamics
  • • Contact centres & how to access them
  • • Family mediation

The closing date for booking is Friday, 19th October 2012. 01 222 3259

Stressed getting ready for Back to School?

Stressed out about getting the kids, and yourself, ready to go back to school? One Family’s tips should help!

Public Consultation on Improving Lives of Children

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs will launch a public consultation on improving the lives of children and young people on Monday, 11th June 2012. Consultation forms can be completed on-line or in hard copy. The closing date for the consultation is Friday, 6th July 2012.

The consultation will inform the development of all key policies and strategies within the Department over the next five years.

Please see HSE website for more


Our New Contact Centre gets loads of press coverage

We got loads of press coverage for the launch of our new Child Contact Centre service which is great. Here is One Family Director Karen Kiernan on The Last Word with Matt Cooper explaining all about it at 15 minutes into the clip.

Ger Kelly, Childcare & Parenting Co-ordinator One Family, Karen Kiernan, Director One Family, Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Francis Chance, Assistant Director of Children’s Services, Barnardos and Robert Dunne, Project Leader for Barnardos at Quarryvale Family Resource Centre

Briefing doc from DSP on final changes to OPF payment

Here is the Briefing document on Changes to OFP  from DSP on the (final) changes to the One Parent Family payment following the budget. If you’ve any questions feel free to contact askonefamily helpline 1890622122. Several additional points that came up in the discussion were:

  • OPFP recipients who move on to the back to education scheme would not return to OPFP as new claimants but retain their original relation to the phasing in of the age reduction.
  • The non-cohabitation rule will not apply to new OPFP recipients who move on to a CE scheme, because with the loss of double payments the criteria applicable to them will be only those of the CE scheme. This is only for NEW applicants, those who are currently on CE scheme and in receipt of double payment (their OPFP) would need to meet the non-cohabitation rule.
  • The loss of the double qualified child increase for those OPFP recipients on CE will have this change automatically applied to their payment and will not need to contact Social Welfare.
  • OPFP recipients who move on to CE scheme will not lose their fuel allowance.
  • And finally, in relation to the phasing in of the new eligibility criterion, the date that the payment is cut is the child’s birthday and not the beginning  of the year. So for example, if the cut-off is 7 years of age, and the child enters the year at the age of six, they will retain eligibility until they turn 7.

One parent’s story of parenting alone in 2012

Niamh rang our askonefamily 1890 662212 helpline, here’s her personal story of parenting alone in Ireland in 2012. It will make you think….

I work in the Kildare area and am a single mother with two girls.  One eight year old and a three year old.

My youngest child goes to a local private creche four mornings and one afternoon and my eldest child has to go to the creche’s afterschool club at 2.45.  I depend on the help of my friend to collect her from school those days and drop her over to the after school club.

The cost is €120 a week and I dread the holidays and school breaks as it is a nightmare.  I have to pay for extra childcare for my eldest child. This can bring my childcare costs to €250 per week.  My wages are €320 a week and I receive at the moment €157 One Parent Family Payment, to be dropped to €148, with the earnings disregard dropping to €130 per week.  My work is of a caring and administrative nature. The children’s dad cannot help financially but does collect the children for me and takes care of the 3 year old when she isn’t at creche and I have to work. I have to be flexible on a week to week basis and never know until Friday what my next week’s work schedule will be.  The pressure and stress of this is sometimes unbearable.  I cannot hassle the children’s dad for money as a. I know he has none as he is unemployed at the moment and b. if he wasn’t unemployed I would have to pay a lot more childcare c.  I have to keep quiet with him as he is doing me a favour by collecting the children and looking after them when I need him to.  d. If he didn’t do this for me I wouldn’t be able to afford the extra childcare on my wages.  He enables me to keep my job.

My mortgage is €450 per month and I have a loan for house renovations as I had to get a new roof due to a major leak, payback of €100 per week.  I have furniture on H.P as we needed beds and a cooker and fridge and this is taken from my account every month.  I have union fees of €20 every month also and house insurance of €460, approx €8 a week. TV licence €3 per week, Bins €6 pw. ESB €20 pw, not inclusive of food and clothes and heat and the basics of living.  Now I have the €100 house charge and most likely water rates coming.

My children never had a holiday.  I work all summer to keep my head above water.  I feel guilty when my child tells me of her friend’s holidays.  I couldn’t get extra work with my employer as if I did, I would have to pay the creche extra.  The time is not available at work anyway and there is talk that we may be losing hours to keep the costs down.

I refuse to let this hurt or stop my children having a good life.  I sit and help with homework every evening and am making sure my children have a very good start in like with a good work ethic.  They realise you have to work to get money to live.  I do not want them thinking you don’t have to work for a living.

Unfortunately, while my children are so young I cannot contemplate taking on more work as they need me and will for many years.  These are their vulnerable years.  I started paying creche fees in 2003 and have paid approximately  €7500 a year, this is covering school summer holidays and Easter and Christmas breaks.  I have also had to pay for minders to come in when the children are sick and the creche won’t take them.  Double payment, as the creche still has to be paid.

Where it will all end, I do not know.  Why isn’t the government encouraging us single parents by giving us creche credits or a voucher for the creche that our children attend.  In that way,  we would be spending the money only on childcare, it would keep the creche in full employment creating jobs, reduce the number of people on the dole and leaving people with money to spend, thus creating more jobs.

I do not know why the government thinks that cutting our money will encourage people to want to work.  Sometimes I feel when I’m running around at six in the morning to get myself and two children ready for work and school and creche, what is the point? Why don’t I stay at home and be there all the time for the children. Forget creche, forget work, forget the stress of it all. Sell the house, pay the bank and go on the housing list and get help with my rent.  I’m trying to do everything right and I feel I am cut down at every turn.

Sorry for the ranting, it’s good to get it off my chest. But, I must be doing something right though as both my kids are very happy and the eldest was the top of her class in her Christmas exams.

Niamh, 2012

Meeting 14 Dec to oppose budget cuts to One Parent Family payment

There is a meeting being organised on Weds 14 Dec in the Central Hotel Dublin to oppose the cuts to the One Parent family payment, supported by many lone parent groups. The purpose is to organise all groups to unite together for one big march, and a continuous campaign until these cuts are reversed.