We’re hiring counsellors for the National Information and Counselling Helpline for Crisis Pregnancy

Counsellors for the National Information and Counselling Helpline for Crisis Pregnancy | Nov 2018

Are you interested in being part of an exciting, new and innovative service for women in Ireland? If so, and you are a qualified, accredited counsellor with 3 years of counselling experience this could be the role for you.

One Family is recruiting additional, experienced, professionally accredited counsellors for the new National Information and Counselling Helpline for Crisis Pregnancy which we will deliver on behalf of the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

To learn more click here.


Policy | Recruitment Open for the One Family Parents Policy Panel 2017

Let your voice be heard! One Family is seeking willing participants to engage with our Policy Panel 2017. The Panel will consist of 10-12 lone parents and/or parents sharing parenting, who will collaborate with One Family throughout 2017 on policy positions and our budget submission to the Government. Panel members will be encouraged to contribute their own lived experience and personal circumstances in order to produce a Budget submission and policy papers which reflect the reality for one-parent families in Ireland today.

Those interested in taking part should:
1. Wish to articulate their opinions and be comfortable discussing personal experiences and opinions, and core budget issues (housing, childcare etc.).
2. Currently live in Ireland – we hope to hear from people from both urban and rural areas.
3. Be able to commit to a minimum of three hours per month, and be willing to log into the discussion group on our Facebook page (a mixture of phone and online engagement with occasional meetings in Dublin 2) on a volunteer basis.

If you want to get involved please complete the survey below by the 15th of February 2017.

Click here to apply.

Policy | Submission to the Citizen’s Assembly on the 8th Amendment

OFOne Family has sent a submission to the Citizen’s Assembly on the 8th Amendment.

One Family believes that the presence of the 8th Amendment causes real harm to the women and families whom One Family supports. It leads to the greater likelihood of later and less safe abortion; of women self aborting with pills on their own in isolation; of poorer physical and mental health; of increased shame, stigma and stress.

This amendment and subsequent legislation including the 1995 Information Act and the 2014 Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act has resulted in an extremely regulated environment for women who need to access abortion services, for those who provide crisis pregnancy counselling and for those providing medical and health care to pregnant women. These legislative measures do not support women’s health care and a client-centred approach.

Based on One Family’s 44 years of work with vulnerable women the focus is always on the well being and safety of the clients. This is severely compromised by the various laws in relation to abortion and the regulation of pregnant women in Ireland.

One Family strongly recommends that the 8th Amendment is removed from our Constitution, that abortion is decriminalised and that the provision of an abortion becomes solely a health matter between a woman and her doctor.

You can read the full submission here

Policy | The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) Report

OFThe European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) published a new report last week entitled Poverty, Gender and Intersecting Inequalities in the EU Review of the implementation of Area A: Women and Poverty of the Beijing Platform for Action.

This report is part of EIGE’s mandate to monitor EU progress towards gender equality, specifically in relation to the objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) and it is hoped that its findings and recommendations offer solid and useful evidence to address the unresolved challenges for gender equality facing Europe today.

One Family know the shocking and unacceptable facts and we hear the families we work with and support; and it’s time that Government fully listens to and takes real action to honour its commitment to lift over 97,000 children out of consistent poverty by 2020.

Some of the key findings:

Almost every second lone mother (49 per cent) across the EU and a third of lone fathers (32 per cent) are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

What lone mothers as well as lone fathers tend to lack are financial security and savings for larger or unexpected expenses, rather than specific items such as a phone or a television. 26 % of lone mothers and 16 % of lone fathers have experienced difficulties in paying utility bills.

Lone parents are more often lacking resources to spend on themselves, particularly lone mothers. Only 55 % of lone mothers say that they can spend a small amount of money each week on themselves (compared to 78 % of lone fathers).

The risk of poverty or exclusion among lone parents is very different across the EU-28, varying from 35 % in Slovakia, Finland and Sweden to 58 % in Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and 69 % in Bulgaria.

When compared to couples with children, parents who are bringing up a child or children without a partner face poverty remarkably more often. The gaps between the poverty rates of couples with children and lone parents are significantly wide, and stand at up to 38 percentage points in Cyprus and the United Kingdom and 37 percentage points in Belgium and Ireland.


Summary Factsheet

Parenting | Supporting your children through shared parenting

divorce-156444_1280According to The United Nations Rights of the Child, it is the right of the child to have contact with both parents after parental separation; yet many parents see it as their right, as parents, to have contact with their child.

When it comes to contact with children, mums can hold the power from day one: they carry the baby for nine months so straight away they make the very first decisions about the baby. All too easily, fathers can take a back seat in parenting and when a separation occurs they can struggle to assert their position as an involved father. So many separated fathers, whom I work with, want to be hands-on fathers. Men are as capable as women but culturally we are often led to believe they are not.

It is not good for children to see two parents without equal status. If society doesn’t encourage fathers to play an active role in parenting then we are not allowing children the full opportunities they are entitled to: the right to both parents provided it is safe for the child.

We need to separate out poor partners from poor parents: it is a different relationship. Children only have two biological parents; allowing them every opportunity to have a relationship with both parents is important to the positive outcome of their lives. Here we offer ’10 ways’ to support your child through shared parenting:

  1. Explore what prevents you from allowing the other parent to have an active parenting role. Is this a genuine concern based upon facts or an opinion you have formed? Does your child feel safe and happy with the other parent? Try to follow their lead. Take small steps to try and build confidence in their ability.
  2. Start with small steps changes in contact. Talk with your child about what they would like to happen.
  3. Reassure your child that you trust that their other parent loves them and therefore you want both parents to be active in their life.
  4. Ask the other parent to do practical things to support parenting rather than only getting involved for the fun parts.
  5. Allow them to have opportunities to take children to and from school, to the doctor, the dentist and to after-school activities. Your child only has one life, it does not need to be separated into mum’s time and dad’s time.
  6. Share practical information with the other parent about your child’s development and everyday life. Know what stage your child is at. Don’t expect to be told everything, find things out for yourself, ask questions, read up on child development and talk to the school if you are a legal guardian.
  7. Pay your maintenance and don’t argue over the cost of raising a child. If you receive maintenance be realistic about what the other parent can afford. If you were parenting in the same home you would do everything you possibly could to ensure your child has what they need. It cannot be any different just because you parent separately.
  8. Buy what your child needs and not what you want to buy for your child. It is always lovely to treat children but not when it means they have no winter coat. Talk with the other parent about what the child has and what they need.
  9. Ask your family to respect your child’s other parent. They are, and always will be, the parent of your child. Children need to know that family respect their parents. It is not healthy for the extended family to hold prejudice over parents.
  10. If you are finding it really difficult to allow your child have a relationship with their other parent, seek professional support to explore the reasons for this. There is obviously a lot of hurt and I am not dismissing this in anyway but if you can move on you will allow your child to have positive experiences.

This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or on 01 662 9212.

Join the One Family Parenting Group online here


Parenting | Keeping brains active over summer

chess-775346_1920Most parents work really hard all through the school year, keeping track of what children are learning and ensuring homework gets done. But keeping your child’s brain engaged over the summer can be challenging. If you don’t keep them engaged it could take four to six weeks for them to become fully alert when they return to school in September.

The question is, how you do keep them engaged without becoming their summer teacher? Here are tips to keep your child’s brain active all summer:

  • Most libraries hold reading challenges over the summer. Encouraging your child to join the reading challenge can be a fun way to have a more diverse range of books in your home. Libraries are usually very good at supporting children and young people to find books that they are interested in and will enjoy.
  • Encourage your child to keep a diary from the age of five years old. This can be a great way to support children. Not only are you asking them to write, you are asking them to think about how they feel, to create stories, to reflect on their day and on their relationships. They can share their entries with you or keep it private. It is a lovely gift to introduce to any child. You can get diaries from €1 to €10 depending on how fancy or lockable you want it to be. You never know, you could be creating a novelist, but regardless, their spelling and writing should benefit.
  • Get your children to think about adding and subtracting e.g. when buying groceries get them to calculate the shopping bill. Maths does not have to be sums on paper. Help your child to see how we use numbers every day.
  • Why not look for some new TV programmes to watch this summer that have more educational value e.g. animal documentaries and quiz programmes. When you start to engage with such programmes as a family it can lead to whole new conversations.
  • Enjoy days out. There is so much for children to see and hear, people to meet and culture and diversity to experience. Taking children to historic sites or museums, festivals, religious sites or even on nature walks can help them to relate to information they learn in their school books.
  • Finally, just take time to play and engage with your children − usually we are so busy it can be hard to find time to just sit and talk. Get to know your child. Help them to get to know you. How many of us really know our parents. Play, have fun, laugh, and share what life has to offer and you will have covered the full curriculum this summer and prepared your child well for next term.

This article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or on 01 662 9212.



More clients share their One Family stories, read them here…

 Thanks to more clients – Louise, Tracey and Maria – for sharing their experiences of One Family and of parenting alone or sharing parenting – we will be posting more of these stories over the coming weeks, all to mark our 40th anniversary.


One Family Starts to Mark 40th Anniversary

We used to be called Cherish and we’d love everyone who has been involved over the years – clients, staff, supporters – to join us for a big celebratory event in Dublin’s Pillar Room on the Thursday 18 Oct. We will be recalling the past, with some of the founder members of Cherish, and looking to the future as One Family.  The seminar will also be interspersed with voices of parents from over the years, audio footage and a short video. There will also be visual displays about the work of the organisation. Places are limited and will be strictly by invite only so if you’d like to come call 01 662 9212 or email  info@onefamily.ie.

For more information see here







Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland

Here are some figures of interest from Census 2011

1 in 8 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family (Census 2011)

  • 567,311 persons out of a general population of 4,588,252.

1 in 4 (25.8%) families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family (Census 2011)

  • 215,315 lone parent families out of 834,266 families with children.
  • We previously reported 1 in 6 families in Ireland were one-parent families from the 2006 census data; however this was counting couples who had no children. Normative conceptions of family presuppose the presence of children and including couples, whether married or not, in the calculation is potentially misleading. Therefore we have calculated the above 1 in 4 figure using a base of all families with children in Ireland.

Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland (Census 2011)

  • 567,311 persons
  • 29,031 lone fathers as opposed to 186,284 lone mothers.

13.5 per cent of one-parent families are headed by a father (Census 2011)

 1 in 5 (21.7%) children live in a one-parent family (Census 2011)

  • 351,996 children in one-parent families, out of a national total of 1,625,975 children.