Government offers armbands when a lifeboat is needed.
Long-term targeted supports are needed to stop families being pulled into poverty.
Monday, 14th November 2022,
One Family, Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families, has said universal and short-term social welfare increases are akin to offering struggling families ‘armbands when a lifeboat is needed’. Extensive research has shown that one-parent families require targeted long-term supports to address soaring poverty rates, yet Government failed to act in Budget 2023 despite all the evidence. The call comes as the charity launched its Annual Review 2021 which sees a 13% increase in calls to the askonefamily helpline.
One Family CEO, Karen Kiernan said, “This week’s once-off social welfare payments are to be welcomed and will help families in the short-term but many struggling one-parent families are ineligible for these payments and will face a bleak new year. We are seeing through our services families struggling to keep their heads above water and we are deeply concerned about the new year and what the bleak days of early 2023 have in store. Let’s be under no illusions, in the last Budget, this Government prioritised its own electoral success over the needs of the poorest children in the state. These short-term and universal measures will leave the poorest children in the state even poorer in the long-term.”
Karen Kiernan continued, “Last year due to the incredible generosity of the public we were able to issue over €16,000 worth of food, back to school vouchers, and family tickets directly to children and families in need. Our worry is, as we start our Christmas Toy Appeal, is this year’s demand will exceed what we are able to deliver. In real terms, this means children and families will go hungry and cold as they run out of options. This just isn’t right in a country as wealthy as Ireland. The families we support desperately need targeted long-term supports. Government have all the facts and information but are not moving – we must ask why they seem blind to the needs on one-parent families.”
One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting or 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 lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 0818 66 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie. The askonefamily helpline can be contacted on 0818 66 22 12 or 01-6629212.
Link to One Family Annual Review:
For further information visit: https://onefamily.ie/
Stats from the One Family Annual Review:
Service user numbers:
2021 – 3,159 families
2021 – 4265 queries
Helpline queries by category:
|Social welfare and Finances||34%|
|Family and parenting||14%|
|Total no. of queries||4265|