Families Must be at the Heart of Government Policy
National one-parent family organisation One Family today called on Minister Brennan as the minister with responsibility for families, to place families at the heart of Government policy. Speaking at the Pre-Budget Forum, One Family’s Policy and Campaigns Manager, Candy Murphy said that ‘policies need to look at the family as a whole and recognise the diversity of roles played by those living in one-parent families – such as parenting, other caring responsibilities, the development of skills and qualifications, and the opportunity to participate in employment and wider society.’
‘It is especially important,’ she continued, ‘that families are appropriately supported during and following relationship breakdown and new family formation. In particular, given increasing concern in society about shared access to children and other legal issues affecting families, One Family calls for the establishment of family law and children’s centres to provide information and support services to such families.’
Setting out ten steps to achieving equality for all families, One Family also highlighted the importance of targeting State funds at children in poverty through increases in the Child Dependent Allowance and Back to School and Clothing & Footwear Allowances. Ms Murphy said that ‘at a time when State coffers are full, the Government has never been better placed to address child poverty. One Family called for the Child Dependent Allowance to be increased to €40 per week pending the promised introduction of an employment neutral new childcare payment for families living in poverty.’
One Family have drawn up a coordinated plan of ten steps to achieve equality for all families.
1. Provide adequate incomes for one-parent families dependent on social welfare.
2. Provide adequate supports to ensure that lone parents in work can access well paid and meaningful employment.
3. Remove poverty traps that prevent one-parent families moving off social welfare dependency.
4. Remove barriers that currently prevent one-parent families achieving equal access to housing and healthcare.
5. Provide adequate supports to assist families experiencing family breakdown and new family formation.
6. Give recognition and support for the role of parenting in one-parent families.
7. Remove inequalities faced by migrant one-parent families.
8. Provide equitable pregnancy services for all.
9. Ensure the rights of non-marital one-parent families.
10. Develop a coordinated strategy to achieve equality for all one- parent families.
Dowload a full copy of the One Family 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