One Family launches its Ten Solutions for Smarter Futures for lone parents in Leinster House today
Media Release, 2 May 2012, At today’s launch of ‘One Family – Ten Solutions – Smarter Futures’ campaign, Ciara Conway, TD for Waterford and Vice Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Children and Youth Affairs said, ‘This campaign is a solutions focused approach to Budget 2012. It addresses ten challenges faced by lone parents, and gives us the first concrete steps to take towards delivering services which connect and empower them around education, work and independence. We acknowledge the challenges ahead but are prepared to tackle them and Minister Burton has the determination and will to succeed.’
‘Ten solutions – Smarter Futures’ outlines proposals that will enable Government to help reduce inequality and improve the wellbeing and life chances of those parenting alone. Stuart Duffin, Welfare to Work Manager at One Family, explains, ‘This goal towards a more equal State, where lone parents and their children are better equipped to succeed, has political consensus and increasing public support,’ he continues, ‘we recognise that budgets are strained, which is why we have come up with low-cost or cost-neutral solutions to improving the lives of one-parent families.’
Some of the suggestions in ‘Ten solutions – Smarter Futures’ include:
Flexibilities: lone parents who move to Jobseeker’s Allowance should only be required to work for 15 hours per week during school terms. This would help address many of the child protection concerns around seven year olds being left on their own. Flexibilities also take into account a lack of childcare or transport, having to cope with a child with a disability or with a separation or a bereavement, and so on.
Education and Training: development and promotion of a wide range of part-time, modular education and training from all public providers. A range of programmes need to start later and finish earlier to allow parents to look after their children.
Progression Opportunities: ensure equality of opportunities for lone parents in the work place. Permit One-Parent Family Payment recipients to participate in all activation programmes. Support the promotion and up-skilling of lone parents.
Stuart Duffin continues, ‘‘One Family – Ten Solutions – Smarter Futures’ helps to lay the foundations for a fairer, more equal society, by addressing some of the challenges faced by lone parents and their children. For thirty years, trickle-down economics have divided Ireland by yielding significant wealth for a few, but leaving others by the wayside. There is wide public support for a different way of organising our affairs – this is the Government’s opportunity to deliver on a undertaking that can radically change children’s lives – and to create a welfare to work system which empowers lone parents.’
For more information contact Hilary Fennell, Communications Manager, One Family, 01 6629212