15% increase in queries to national one-parent family helpline

Press release, Monday 28 August

Queries to the askonefamily national helpline, a specialist support line for one-parent families, increased by 15% in 2022 as families struggled with tightening energy, food and housing prices. The statistic was revealed as One Family, Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families, launched its Annual Report for 2022.

Karen Kiernan One Family CEO said, “The surge in queries to our helpline is more evidence of the pressure one-parent families are experiencing. Parents sought advice on housing, finance and social welfare as they strained to keep their heads above water. This is a direct result of Government policy and will only get worse; queries to the helpline in Q1 2023 are already 30% ahead of 2022. The budget, last year, had next to nothing for one-parent families despite all the evidence that showed these families are amongst the poorest in the state and needed targeted support.  In 2022, One Family issued almost €4,000 worth of food vouchers to struggling families and over 500 Christmas gifts to children. These donations were sourced through the generosity of companies and the public and without them many families would have gone hungry, or children would have had nothing for Christmas.”

Carly Baily, One Family Policy Officer, said, “If Government are serious about ending child poverty, there needs to be meaningful targeted supports for one-parent families in Budget 2024. One-parent families are not looking for hand-outs but for supports to help them escape poverty.  A stand-alone child maintenance system is urgently required to pull families out of poverty. Child maintenance and child benefit shouldn’t be assessed as means for access to public supports and schemes. These are all achievable; all Government needs to do is target resources on families who need it the most instead of national giveaways.”

Karen Kiernan One Family CEO said, “Last year, One Family marked its 50th anniversary. What was striking was the same issues of poverty, childcare and housing insecurity are still plaguing parents today. It doesn’t have to be this way, and this is not the Ireland most of us want to live in.”


For Editors:

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting or separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all 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 askonefamily national helpline on 0818 66 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie. The askonefamily helpline can be contacted on 0818 66 22 12 or 01 6629212 or helpline@onefamily.ie

Link to One Family Annual Review:

For further information visit: https://onefamily.ie/

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 086 850 9191

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 085 7241294