Specialist Employability programme for Lone Parents sees 90% success rate

The award-winning, European Social Fund -funded, New Futures Employability Programme, for lone parents on social welfare has seen over 90% of graduates progress to education or employment. The programme run by charity, One Family, recorded an 85% success rate in 2018 and new figures further show the phenomenal success of the community-based programme. The figures are revealed in the charity’s Annual Report for 2019 which has just been released. The programme uses a ‘one-to-one’ mentoring system to support lone parents who are looking to return to education or work as well as an accredited training programme and wrap around family support services.

Niamh Wynne, Coordinator of the New Futures Employability Programme said, “Many of the parents we work with are experiencing poverty,domestic abuse, homelessness and social isolation. Despite the incredibly difficult circumstances they are in, all are motivated to change and improve their situations. The New Futures Employability Programme provides the skills, challenges and support they need to build their confidence to take the next step for their family.”

New Futures graduate Tracy*said, “Before starting with One Family in 2019 I had left a relationship due to domestic violence. I had two very young kids and I was only starting to gain back some of the confidence I had lost. I saw a post on Facebook for the New Steps programme and decided to apply with a view to starting the New Futures programme afterwards and get my life back on track. These programmes were a God send! I learned how to deal with so many emotions I was struggling with; instead of letting them get on top of me, I learned new strategies to cope with them. I also learned to look at life from a different perspective. It was great to meet with other people in similar situations and know that I am not alone. The help and support in the 1:1 mentoring was second to none and I would advise anyone no matter what your background or struggles to try this programme as it’s one of the best decisions I made. I am now in a job and my life has improved incredibly since completing the course.”

One Family CEO, Karen Kiernan said, “The success of these proven education programmes shows how targeted supports, such as these specialist bridging programmes, can support parents on social welfare to take the next steps into education or employment. These programmes need to be available nationally so that parents from all over Ireland can also be successfully supported off social welfare and into long-term careers. In 2019, 93% of graduates who completed the New Futures Employability Programme went on to further education or employment. We must support parents so that they can support themselves out of poverty.”


Notes to editor:

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting or separating.

*Tracy is not her real name

One Family Employability Programmes:

  • New Futures Employability Programme is One Family’s flagship 24 week personal and professional development, specialist bridging programme, accredited at QQI level 4.  New Futures won the Special Recognition Award for an ESF Initiative at the Aontas Star Awards in 2019 for making an outstanding contribution to adult learning.
  • New Steps is an eight week parenting support and self-development programme.
  • For more cases studies of New Futures graduates click here
  • To read One Family’s Annual Report click here
  • To learn more about One Family’s educational supports click here

Statistics on one-parent families:

There were 218,817 family units with children (of any age) headed by a lone parent (Census 2016).

  • 1 in 4 families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family (Census 2016).
  • 1 in 5 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family (Census 2016).
  • 356,203 children lived in one-parent families, representing more than one in five or 21.2% of all children in family units (Census 2016).
  • In November 2018, 14,349 One-Parent Family Payment recipients (39 per cent of all recipients) are in employment, and of 14,418 Jobseeker’s Transition recipients, 4,037 recipients work. The Working Family Payment is an important support for working parents; almost half of recipients are households headed by a lone parent.
  • The Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2017 (SILC) revealed that one-parent family households experience the most deprivation in Ireland. Almost 45% of lone parent households experience more than one form of deprivation.
  • 55% of homeless families living in emergency accommodation are one-parent families, at any time.

For further information visit: www.onefamily.ie.

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 01 622 9212 or 085