One-Parent Family Success Stories at One Family
Government Must Step Up to the Mark
and Enable Lone Parents to have a Fighting Chance in our Economy
(Dublin, Wednesday 18 June 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for one-parent families – celebrates the achievements of almost 100 lone parents who have completed its courses throughout the past year at a Graduation Ceremony in the Conference Centre, Dublin Castle on Thursday 19 June at 10am in the week that it also makes its Pre-Budget Submission calling on Government to invest in one-parent families.
Recent response to media coverage of mother and baby homes has demonstrated again that people, women in particular, who parent alone still experience stereotyping, stigma and shame. One Family issued a statement in response to this harrowing topic last week which can be read here. This coverage has proved distressing for many One Family clients, lone parents and their children. Now, it is timely to celebrate those inspirational lone parents and people sharing parenting who have successfully overcome many challenges in pursuit of their awards.
Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “The parents celebrating their graduation this week want to learn more and they want to work. They want to build on the successes being celebrated. 58% of lone parents in Ireland today are working. One Family wants to see a clear political commitment in the 2015 budget to enable those most in need to return to work and education and create better futures for their children by provision of key supports such as affordable, quality childcare. An investment in childcare is an investment in one-parent families.”
Many of today’s Graduands have completed One Family’s flagship New Futures training which is FETAC Level 4 accredited and offers personal and professional development with wrap-around supports including one-to-one mentoring. Others have completed the One Family parenting programmes Family Communications and Positive Parenting, designed to strengthen family relationships, enable parents to understand difficult behaviour in children, and learn techniques to promote conflict resolution. Other parents who are parenting alone or sharing parenting are to be celebrated for taking a pro-active role in crafting One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission by participating in the organisation’s Budget Panel to help ensure that the voices of one-parent and shared parenting families are heard by Government.
One Family’s Director of Policy and Programmes, Stuart Duffin, comments: “One Family’s Budget Panel members are asking a simple question: ‘Will the 2015 budget improve the position of the poorest families and will children’s well-being be prioritised as the economy recovers?’ Paid work can make a difference for families, but this needs to accommodate the needs of children, income adequacy and security. The government’s focus has been on economic growth and jobs as a silver bullet solution to poverty. However, many lone parents and those sharing parenting cannot undertake or maintain enough paid work to sustain a family because of changes in tax and the lack of jobs. It is vital that government adopts a comprehensive strategy to reduce child and family poverty, a much broader strategy is needed to address the underlying causes.”
People parenting alone – including those parents receiving their Certificates this week – are all job-seekers and need to have adequate income to raise their children. All parents need sufficient levels of income security but today Ireland’s poorest families do not have enough to live on. It is crucial that the social welfare safety net that supports families in tough times is repaired and strengthened to enable the one-parent families who need to avail of it to create better outcomes. Children in all families deserve the chance to thrive.
About One Family
One Family was founded in 1972 and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families offering 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, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes the Family Day Festival, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today (www.familyday.ie). For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.
Available for Interview
Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191
Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023
Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 414 8511