Deprivation Levels Among One-Parent Families Remains Persistently High 

41.4% of one-parent families are experiencing deprivation 

Dublin, Thursday 7th March 2024: One Family, the national organisation for one-parent families in Ireland, welcomes the most recent Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Despite a decrease in some poverty rate measures for one-parent families in 2023 compared to the previous year, the SILC survey reveals significant disparities between one-parent families, the general population, and two-parent households.  41.4% of households headed by a lone parent with children under 18 are experiencing deprivation, which is more than double that of two-parent households.  One Family believes urgent action from the Government is necessary to provide support for struggling one-parent families.  

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, statedIn a country as prosperous as Ireland, it is inexcusable that one-parent families continue to face poverty and deprivation at levels scandalously higher than other families.

These statistics represent actual children and families who are forced to navigate daily challenges to meet their basic needs such as food and shelter. Once-off cost of living measures may have provided temporary relief, but the reality of life for these families is that their struggles are ongoing. Given that the new Child Poverty & Wellbeing Unit was established by the Government in 2022, we expected to see a more significant impact on poverty rates for one-parent families.”   

One Family warns that without long term, targeted government support, poverty rates will inevitably increase for those who are parenting alone.  

Carly Bailey, Policy Officer with One Family said The latest SILC survey clearly demonstrates that lone parents and their children remain one of the most disadvantaged groups in Ireland. This is due to ongoing structural barriers and a refusal by successive governments to respond to the unique challenges faced by people parenting alone.  

It is critical that the Government provide long-term support such as affordable childcare, secure housing and adequate income supports to one-parent families.  It is also crucial for the Government to hear the voices and concerns of lone-parent families and eliminate the many obstacles they face to escape from the grip of poverty.”


Notes to editors: 

For more information, visit CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions. 



  • Develop a National Action Plan that includes a sub target for one-parent families to reverse the tide of child poverty/ 
  • Provide free (or almost free) access to childcare for families on the lowest incomes and eligible for a medical card, with a higher subsidy under the National Childcare Scheme 
  • Extend Job Seekers Transitional Payment to parents in education, training or employment until their youngest child reaches the end of second level education. 
  • Reduce the weekly work threshold for Working Family Payment to 15 hours a week for one-parent households. 
  • Make the SUSI grant available to lone parents engaging in part-time and blended learning educational courses. 

January homeless data which tells us that 56% of all families in emergency accommodation are one-parent households despite only making up 17% of the overall population. Click here to view.

ESRI- Lone parents among most disadvantaged in Ireland’s housing system. Click here to view.

ESRI- Poverty, income inequality and living standards in Ireland: First annual report. Click here to view.

About One Family:

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 The askonefamily helpline can be contacted on 0818 66 22 12 or 01 6629212 or

Further Information/Scheduling 

Laura Curtin, Communications Manager 

t: 086 8537043 | e: