One Family undertakes research in a number of key areas. You can read and/or download recent research documents in PDF format below.

Community Education as a support for lone parents – Thematic Analysis of Eight Case Studies

This research is a qualitative exploration of the power of community education to support lone parents to fulfill their potential in education, employment, and society.

In January 2022 the Beachaire Fund appointed the Centre for Effective Services (CES) to conduct qualitative research to explore the effectiveness of community education in supporting lone parents to achieve improved educational, economic, and social outcomes for themselves and their children. The primary intention of the research, as set out by the Beachaire Fund, is to bring evidence-informed recommendations to policy makers to bolster the case for increased funding to strengthen the community education sector and to improve access for lone parents to the opportunity to return to education as a pathway to fulfil their potential in education, employment and society.

Read the Beachaire Thematic Report.

Read the Executive Summary.

This case study showcases the work of One Family, which provides community education and support to lone parents throughout Ireland. The research was funded by the Beachaire Fund, a charitable fund operating under the umbrella of Community Foundation Ireland (CFI). One of the Fund’s objectives is to support education initiatives with a view to affording access to and the benefits of education to children.

Read the One Family Case Study.

The Voice of the Child in Private Family Law Proceedings: A Comparative Review

This comparative review reports on the outcomes of a phase 1 of a research project being undertaken by the Child Law Clinic at University College Cork that will examine the effectiveness of arrangements for ascertaining the views of children in private family law proceedings in Ireland. This project was in collaboration with Children’s Rights Alliance and One Family.

The purpose of the comparative review is to provide an insight into the processes and structures for the ascertaining the views of children in private family law proceedings in six jurisdictions (Ireland, England and Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Ontario, and Germany), with a view to identifying common challenges, the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and variations in law and practice. The review begins by setting out the provisions for the inclusion of the voice of the child in private family law proceedings under international law, before delving into the approaches of the various jurisdictions.

Read the report

In Transit? Research report documenting the lived experiences of one parent families who are in receipt of the Jobseekers Transitional Payment (JST).

University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin, in association with One Family, produced  new research documenting the lived experiences of Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST) recipients.

The research, which was launched earlier today, explores how JST is working ‘on the ground’.  As JST is a relatively new payment in the Irish social welfare system, little is known about how it is experienced by recipients. Furthermore, because people living in lone parent households are consistently over-represented in poverty statistics across all metrics (at risk of poverty, enforced deprivation and consistent poverty), how caregivers in one-parent households experience a policy that is designed with such households in mind represents important work.

We believe the findings of the research provide both a never-before heard insight into the experiences of parents on JST, but also gives policy makers a clear blueprint for how to make JST a more effective tool to support parents into education and employment, and ultimately reduce the high levels of poverty in one-parent families.

Read the report:

Read the policy brief: 

Read information leaflet:

Research and guidelines on contact time between parents and young children/and babies in separated families

A common time for parents to separate is when their child or children are very young. Many families seek help in setting up and managing contact arrangements but there is no uniform approach. We see through our work with  families that parents often struggle to determine how to best share the parenting of their young children. This can be extremely challenging for parents and children alike, particularly in situations where there is conflict, abuse and/or limited contact between parents.

To research this area and determine a best practice set of guidelines for parents and professionals, One Family commissioned a joint team from University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin  to research Guidance on Contact Time for Infants and Young Children in Separated Families. The research was conducted by Dr Simone Mc Caughren, Dr Stephanie Holt, Dr Aisling Parkes and Soma Gregory and was funded by the Late, Late Toy Show Appeal and Community Foundation of Ireland. The best practice guidelines were developed by One Family using the research findings.

The Research Report

Best Practice Guidelines

Separating Well for Children – Service model report

One Family delivers the Separating Well for Children Project (SWP), which it developed in 2018 and is funded by Tusla – the Child and Family Agency. SWP is a specialist support service for families who are in the process of separation or parenting post separation where conflict is challenging and has a detrimental impact on children. The service supports both parents to negotiate the separation process and move forward in their transition to new family forms, with a strong focus on the needs of children.

One Family contracted the Centre for Effective Services (CES) to strengthen the SWP service model. The purpose of this work was to ensure consistency, effectiveness, and efficiency in One Family’s delivery of SWP, and to outline next steps to scaling up SWP to reach more families in Ireland. The report by Aine Tubridy can be read below:

Separating Well for Children – Service Model Report

Human rights research and guidelines for parents and public sector bodies.

One Family launched new guidelines for parents and public sector organisations on human rights and one-parent families. The guidelines give parents guidance on their rights and  give public sector organisations a framework for protecting the human rights of one-parent families. Public sector organisations have an obligation to abide by the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty and ensure discrimination, if it does occur, is addressed promptly and transparently.

Read the guidelines here:

Guide for parents:

Guide for public sector bodies:

Policy paper:

Shared parenting in Ireland today

On Monday 30th January 2017, we published the results of our Shared Parenting Survey and accompanying policy recommendations. The survey response was overwhelming with 1,014 women and men responding.

[download]One Family_Ireland’s First National Shared Parenting Survey[/download]

Child Contact Centres

Child Contact Centre: Key Learnings
One Family’s response to the Evaluation with key learnings and recommendations for policy makers.
[download]One Family_Child Contact Centre_Key Learnings March 2014 – PDF[/download]

Child Contact Centre Evaluation 2013 – Executive Summary
Summary of the evaluation of the Child Contact Centre’s performance and impact.
[download]Child Contact Centre Executive Summary December 2013 – PDF[/download]

Child Contact Centre Evaluation 2013
The purpose of this evaluation is to evaluate the Child Contact Centre’s performance and impact and to identify key issues for future child contact service provision. [download]Child Contact Centre Evaluation December 2013 – PDF[/download]

Research on Child Contact Centres in Ireland 2009
One Family launched a major piece of qualitative research on the need for Child Contact Centres in Ireland. [download]Supporting Child Contact: The Need for Child Contact Centres in Ireland: Key Findings Conclusions and Recommendations 2009 – PDF[/download]


Lone Parents and Employment: What Are The Real Issues?
One Family, supported by the Combat Poverty Agency, conducted a major quantitative study of Lone Parents on the One Parent Family Payment. [download]Lone Parents and Employment – PDF[/download]

One Family Employer Toolkit
Supported by the Equality Authority, the Toolkit promotes equality in the workplace. It  is aimed at retail businesses, because the retail sector attracts a larger proportion of lone parents than other employment sectors in the economy. [download]Employer Toolkit – PDF[/download]


Human rights based approach to achieving Social Inclusion and Equality
The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland and One Family, supported by the Combat Poverty Agency, produced this introduction to international human rights conventions and how they can be used to advance the rights of one-parent families. [download]Human Rights – PDF[/download]

Relevant Reports