Family Law Reform
One Family is very concerned about the current provision of family law services in Ireland and we have been working hard to advocate around the current family law reform process. We know from working with families, through our services and helpline, that there are major gaps in service provision; that courts do not always ensure safety for children and parents; that there can be a lack of accurate information available to courts; and that there are much better out of court pathways available in other countries with better outcomes for families. Read more about our Family Law Reform campaign here.
Child maintenance and child maintenance survey
One Family calls for the establishment of a Statutory Child Maintenance Agency, the call comes as we release our child maintenance paper and the results of our national survey of parents on child maintenance.
We know from our services and particularly calls to our national helpline, askonefamily; that parents really struggle with understanding how to come to an agreement around how much child maintenance should be paid and what to do if it is not paid. Nearly half of the respondents to our survey who are the primary carers of the children do not receive any child maintenance at all, whilst most people have had to resort to court to come to agreement.
Of the 1,068 respondents to the survey 58% resorted to court order to agree child maintenance, while 42% of the parents who are primary carers do not receive any child maintenance. However, 75% of those who do receive payments reported that they are paid regularly. When it comes to agreeing how much parents should be paid only 9% of respondents said it was determined by the needs of the child.
To read survey results click here
To read child maintenance paper click here
Make award winning programme available nationally
One Family calls on the Government to make the award-winning New Futures training programme available nationally. The European Social Fund (ESF) funded programme recorded an 85% success rate in 2018 and is currently only available in Dublin.
The success of our programmes shows how targeted supports, such as these specialist training programmes, can support parents on social welfare out of poverty and back to education or employment. These parents are full of potential, hugely resilient, adaptable and committed; they are looking for support so they can support themselves and their families and this training should be available nationally, not just in Dublin.
Read the full press release here.
Pre-Budget Submission 2019
One Family calls on the Government to urgently implement the recommendations of the eight Government and independently commissioned reports published since 2016 on one-parent families and poverty. All eight reports make similar recommendations and urge the implementation of targeted supports for one-parent families.
To read the full details of our Pre-Budget Submission please click here.
Major Research on One-Parent Families since 2016:
- (2019) Working, Parenting and Struggling? An analysis of the employment and living conditions of one parent families in Ireland. A Report by the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Dublin, Ireland.
- (2018) Lone-Parent Incomes and Work Incentives. Budget Perspectives 2019. Paper 1, July 2018. Regan, M., Keane, C., and Walsh, J.R. ESRI.
- (2018) Understanding, negotiating and navigating the politicisation of evidence-based policy research: the case of Irish research on lone parent labour market activation policy. Millar, M., Crosse, R., Canavan, J. University of Bristol, UK
- (2018) In-Work Benefits: The (in)adequacy of in-work benefits in Irish lone parent labour market activation policy. Millar, M., Gray, J., Et al., Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. Policy Press, University of Bristol, UK.
- (2017) An Independent Review to Identify the Supports and Barriers for Lone Parents in Accessing Higher Education and to Examine Measures to Increase Participation. Delma Byrne and Clíona Murray Maynooth University (Commissioned by DES, DEASP and DCYA).
- (2017) Houses of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Social Protection Report on the Position of Lone Parents in Ireland.
- (2017) Indecon Independent Review of the Amendments to the One-parent Family Payment since January 2012. Presented to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Prepared by Indecon Research Economists www.indecon.ie
- (2016) Lone Parents and Activation, What Works and Why: A Review of the International Evidence in the Irish Context. Millar, M and Crosse,R. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway.
Yes in Divorce Referendum
One Family joined a coalition of national organisations calling for a YES vote in Divorce Referendum on May 24. One Family joined FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres), the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA), the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and the Lawyers for Yes to call on voters to support a referendum that will deliver a better divorce system for people who need it.
To read the press releases click here.
Change needed to the Parental Leave Act
One Family calls on the Government to change the Parental Leave Act to give lone parents the same leave entitlements as two parent families.
While we warmly welcome the Parental Leave Act 2019 we are calling for Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, to change the provisions of the Act to give one-parent families the same leave entitlements as two-parent families.
Our concern is that leave is to be non-transferrable between parents. So, while two-parent families can maximise the amount of time they spend with their babies, those who are parenting alone have only a limited period. We ask that the fourteen weeks of paid parental leave available to parents in a two-parent family is made available to a lone parent. This is in order to provide equal access for the baby to their parent in this critical time.
Currently the only reference to transferring leave to an entitled parent in the Bill is where one parent dies, which means that the Scheme is recognising only one type of lone parent thus ignoring others. We call on the Minister to fix this anomaly. There should be an exception made to the non-transfer rule for lone parents to other designated people and for the sake of their babies we are asking the Minister to make this change.
Read the press release here
Yes to remove the 8th amendment
One Family campaigned for a YES vote on 25 May 2018 to remove the 8th amendment from the Constitution. We know from our work over 45 years with women experiencing unplanned or crisis pregnancies that the 8th amendment harms their mental and physical health.
We know that the issue of abortion in Ireland is sensitive, divisive, shaming and often secret. We know that it has been hard for some of our clients that we have taken this position as they may not agree with us but we do still really respect their position. We know that this referendum campaign has been hard for many, many women who have had unplanned pregnancies or had abortions. We know that this national conversation is polarised, sometimes misinforming and can overlook real people’s lived experiences.
Pre-Budget Submission 2018
Our Pre-Budget Submission calls for targeted supports for lone parents rather than blanket increases to social welfare in Budget 2019.
The extensive document calls for the Budget to be focused on the evidence that clearly show children living in one-parent families are consistently more likely to be poor than children in two parent families to target supports to one-parent families.”
View our Pre-Budget Submission here.
Ireland’s First National Shared Parenting Survey
What is shared parenting? Who does it, and how? How many one-parent families share parenting?
With almost 45 years experience of working with and representing one-parent families. Our evidence shows us that many lone parents share parenting to some extent with their child’s other parent, even though they live separately and are not in a relationship with each other. Yet the Census does not capture this reality for many thousands of children and parents in Ireland, and services, policies and laws which could support them are severely lacking, as is understanding of their family form.
In January 2017, we launched the results of Ireland’s first survey for people who are sharing parenting. Audience members at this event in the Mansion House included parents, policy makers, and professionals who work in the Family Law Courts and it was covered by the media. Over 1,000 women and men who share parenting, or have tried to, responded to our survey and we received thousands of in-depth comments that expanded on their survey responses.
You can read what they told us and our recommendations as a result of Ireland’s First National Shared Parenting Survey here.
Pre-Budget Submission 2017 – End Child Poverty Make Work Pay
Our pre-budget submission for Budget 2017 includes the key messages of ending child poverty and making work pay for one-parent families. The Government has committed to lifting 97,000 children who currently live in poverty in Ireland out of this situation by 2020. Children living in one-parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty. We are also calling for more targeted supports for one-parent families to make work pay.
Read our Pre-budget submission, that includes One Family’s key recommendations for Budget 2017, here.
One Parent Family Payment Reform and Child Poverty
The current reform of the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) is failing our families. This means that Ireland’s most vulnerable parents and children are experiencing even greater poverty.
To find out why people parenting alone are being forced out of work; read our analysis of why this reform is failing and our solutions; read parents’ experiences in their own words; and access media coverage of the reform, please go to our campaign page here.
Read about our 10 Solutions for Smarter Futures campaign and ensure your voice is heard by emailing your TD. Click here to find out more.
2016 General Election
Let your voice be heard! Join our campaign for the General Election 2016 by emailing your local candidates to ensure one-parent families are on their agenda. Make sure your family matters in this General Election.
One Family Election 2016 Manifesto challenges all parties and all candidates running in the General Election 2016 to commit to our six point Manifesto to ensure positive change for one-parent families, and people sharing parenting or separating. We are calling for a commitment to the ideals of our nation’s founders in this historic time of reflection.
#GE16 #EndChildPoverty #MyFamilyMatters
All Families Matter
All Families Matter is a campaigning coalition founded by One Family which called on the Constitutional Convention (which met throughout 2014) to progressively review the Irish Constitution in relation to the family. Currently the Irish Constitution only recognises and protects the marital family. Our goal was, and continues to be, to positively influence Convention members to add a review of the family to their work. This fun, short video features three families who currently are not recognised by the Irish Constitution. We believe All Families Matter. Watch and share if you do too.
One Family has been working and campaigning on behalf of one-parent families since 1972. We work from a family-centered, human rights based approach. It has always been important to us that besides delivering vital services directly to families we also campaign and advocate for better lives for one-parent families. In all we do, we are solution-focused.
We welcome your views and comments on any topics affecting one-parent families and families in transition to firstname.lastname@example.org.