One Family Reiterates Need for Social Justice for One-parent Families in Ireland
Today is UN World Day of Social Justice which aims to promote poverty eradication and social integration. The IMF ranks Ireland as the 15th in the world by GDP per capita yet 232,000 children are at risk of poverty, which represents 18.8% of all children in Ireland according to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland for 2011 released last Wednesday by the Central Statistics Office. The 2011 Census shows that there are 215,315 one-parent families in Ireland, accounting for 26% of all families with children, and 22% – almost 352,000 – of all children. SILC demonstrated that one-parent households are the most deprived, with 56% classified as deprived.
Stuart Duffin, One Family’s Director of Policy & Programmes, responds to the findings: “Our analysis of national studies – GUI, CSO ESRI – and evidence gathered by One Family over 40 years demonstrate that child poverty is not a natural phenomenon. It is a political phenomenon – the product of choices and actions made by government and society.”
Mr Duffin welcomes the recommendations in Investing in Children: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage (2013) spearheaded by László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, as today the European Commission adopts its new social investment package with a call for greater focus on social investment in the national reform programmes of all Member States. This report recognises that addressing child poverty is central to achieving Europe’s 2020 “smart, green and inclusive growth strategy”.
The Commission’s recommendations provide helpful guidance to the Irish State on how to tackle child poverty and promote children’s well-being. It calls for a children’s rights approach and integrated strategies based on three pillars:
- access to adequate resources;
- access to affordable quality services; and
- children’s right to participate.
One Family also calls on the Irish Government to identify the steps that should be taken to end child poverty in Ireland in line with the new EU recommendations as a matter of urgency.
About One Family
One Family was founded in 1972 and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families. We offer support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to those working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 622 212, counseling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today, with events taking place this year on May 19th. For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.
Available for Interview
Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family
Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes
t: 01 662 9212