Supporting Family Contact for all Children

Today One Family welcomed the Law Reform Commission’s Consultation Paper on the Family Rights and Responsibilities of Fathers and Grandparents supporting their views that there should be a stronger focus within family law on parental responsibility in the best interests of the child and that the rights of unmarried fathers should be improved.

Welcoming the report and the call for submissions on how best to progress these issues Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family said: ‘It is vital to look at this issue from a child’s perspective and to adapt the language used in family law to reflect this focus.’ Ms. Kiernan continued: ‘For many years One Family has been calling on the Government to recognise that it is the quality of the relationships between parents and children that matters rather than legal structures. One Family’ she added ‘has been developing its services in recent years to support both parents in the many different types of family relationships that now exist to maintain and develop positive relationships with their children. We hope that this report and the resulting consultation process will create a positive climate within which we can develop this work further’.Candy Murphy, Policy and Research Manager, One Family, said ‘One Family has been carrying out extensive research on the needs of children and parents in family and relationship breakdown and is calling for greater supports for families going through this process including the establishment of child contact centres in Ireland similar to those provided in most other countries. One Family will be publishing research Supporting Child Contact: The Need for Child Contact Centres in Ireland*in the very near future’. ————————————–ENDS———————————

*Definition of contact centre: Child contact centres are defined as ‘safe, neutral, welcoming venues which exist to promote and support regular contact between parents and children who do not live together’ (Scottish Executive, 2003).