Press Release | Budget 2017 Must Make Work Pay for One-Parent Families

Press Release

Budget 2017 Must Make Work Pay for One-Parent Families 

 Ending Child Poverty in Ireland can only be achieved by improving access to employment and making work pay.

 (Dublin, Friday 8th July 2016) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting, and separating – calls on the Government to start the process of lifting 97,000 children out of consistent poverty by supporting parents in one-parent families access employment and develop supports to ensure they can stay in the workforce.  Both the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, have promised to address the serious issue of child poverty which disproportionally affects children living in one-parent families. One Family holds the Ministers to this commitment and asks that Budget 2017 is used to urgently address child poverty and invest in services and targeted income supports.

Valerie Maher, One Family Policy and Programmes Manager, states: “Lone parents want to work and to access education so that they can create positive outcomes for their children, yet Government consistently implies that they need to be compelled to do so. One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission focuses on the need to invest in services such as childcare, education and housing as well as the need to target income supports for Ireland’s poorest children. This is how Budget 2017 can help the poorest children in Ireland.”

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, adds: “The relevant Government departments must ensure that work pays, particularly for families moving off social welfare. Time spent on the Jobseeker’s Transition payment could really support parents to access education, training and work experience if the right supports were put in place. We need the income disregard for Jobseeker Transition and the One-Parent Family Payment recipients to be reinstated to 2011 levels of €146.50 so work pays.  Also lone parents should be able to participate in Community Employment schemes through an additional payment of €50 per week.”

Karen continues “Budget 2017 must demonstrate a firm commitment from the Government in working towards resourcing one-parent families rather than penalising them, and to work towards ending the shameful spectre of child poverty in Ireland.”

One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission 2017 can be downloaded here



  • 1 in 8 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family (Census 2011)
  • 1 in 4 families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family (Census 2011)
  • Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland (Census 2011)
  • 13.5%of one-parent families are headed by a father (Census 2011)
  • Almost 1 in 5 children (18.3%) live in a one-parent family (Census 2011)
  • There are over 215,000 one-parent families in Ireland today – 25.8%of all families with children (Census 2011)

One Family Pre-Budget Submission

About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting, or separating. It offers support, information and services to all members of one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals 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 66 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day and presents the Family Day Festival every Summer, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today ( For further information, visit

Available for Interview

Valerie Maher, Policy & Programmes Manager, One Family

Karen Kiernan, CEO, One Family

For further information/scheduling please contact:

Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 414 8511

Jane Farrell, Communications & Marketing Officer | t: 01 662 9096