Ten steps to equality for all families – One Family Pre-Budget Submission

National one-parent family organisation One Family in its Pre-Budget Submission today called on Minister Brennan to tackle ten key areas to combat the massive inequalities experienced by one-parent families in Ireland:

1. Adequate incomes for one-parent families dependent on social welfare
2. Adequate supports to ensure that lone parents in work can access well paid and meaningful employment
3. Poverty traps that prevent one-parent families moving off social welfare dependency
4. Barriers that currently prevent one-parent families achieving equal access to housing and healthcare
5. Adequate supports to assist families experiencing family breakdown and new family formation
6. Recognition and support for the role of parenting in one-parent families
7. Inequalities faced by migrant one-parent families
8. Equitable pregnancy services for all
9. The rights of non-marital one-parent families
10. A coordinated strategy to achieve equality for all one-parent families

Speaking at the launch of the organisation’s Pre-Budget submission for 2007, One Family’s Policy & Campaigns Manager, Candy Murphy stated that: ‘while poverty and financial insecurity remain major issues for many one-parent families and must be concretely addressed, the Minister, as Minister for both Social Welfare and Family Affairs, must ensure that Budget 2007 also focuses on key issues for families, including:

* adequate supports to assist families experiencing family breakdown and new family formation;
* recognition and support for the role of parenting and shared parenting in one-parent families; and
* commissioning research on the rights and needs of non-marital families.’

‘Families today face many challenges in terms of managing competing pressures’ she continued. ‘For many one-parent families, those challenges become almost insurmountable when combined with the barriers that exist to accessing supports during family breakdown situations. Children are particularly vulnerable and in need of support during such difficult times – therefore a key recommendation includes research on and funding for pilot child contact centres.’

Commenting on the recommendations made in the submission, One Family Director Karen Kiernan noted that ‘a coordinated, comprehensive strategy from Government is needed to achieve equality for all families in Ireland. It is time to stop deceiving ourselves that we live in a fair nation with equal opportunities for all, when one in six families are left to flounder without adequate supports. We welcome Government moves this year to review the supports provided to one-parent families, but this must be backed up by a recognition that one-parent families, like all families, come in all shapes and sizes, with differing needs. A one-size fits all strategy of labour market activation may only seek to further marginalise Ireland’s most disadvantaged families.’

One Family are confident that the practical recommendations they suggest are very achievable and can provide an effective beginning to the formulation of a coordinated strategy to support one-parent families in Ireland.

Download a pdf of the full Pre-Budget Submission here.


For further information or a copy of the full submission contact:
Ruth Coleman, Communications Manager 01 662 9212/086 174 2315
Candy Murphy, Policy & Campaigns Manager 01 662 9212
Karen Kiernan, Director 01 662 9212/086 850 9191