One Family – 10 cost neutral suggestions for helping lone parents back to work
Media release, 19 April 2012, One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, announces its ‘One Family-Ten Solutions’ campaign which provides ten cost neutral strategies to assist lone parents back into work or education. This follows Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton’s, statement that she won’t stop lone parent payments when the youngest child is seven unless she receives a commitment in the next Budget on affordable childcare.
‘We welcome Minister Burton’s statement on the need for affordable childcare, and we have nine other suggestions for getting lone parents off welfare and back to work,’ explains Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager.
One Family campaign suggestions include:
Flexibilities: lone parents who move to Jobseeker’s Allowance should only be required to seek work for 15 hours per week during school hours. This would help address many of the child protection concerns around seven year olds being left on their own. Flexibilities also take into account a lack of childcare or transport, having to cope with a child with a disability or a separation or a bereavement, and so on.
Education and Training: development and promotion of a wide range of part-time, modular education and training from all public providers. A range of programmes need to start later and finish earlier to allow parents to look after their children.
Progression Opportunities: Ensure equality of opportunities for lone parents in the work place. Permit One-Parent Family Payment recipients to participate in all activation programmes. Support the promotion and upskilling of lone parents.
Besides the ‘Ten Solutions’ campaign, One Family is also offering to host a cross-party, inter-agency Task & Finish group to evaluate and recommend practical options which will ensure accessible, affordable models for the delivery of child and after school care services across the State.
Stuart Duffin continues, ‘If these suggestions for a joined-up welfare to work strategy for lone parents are not adopted, child poverty will rise by the end of this Dail. We need to take a step in the direction out of poverty and welfare dependence; not an approach which limits lone parents’ chances and quality outcomes for their children.’
For the full Campaign see http://bit.ly/IWn9eG
For more information contact:
Hilary Fennell, Communications Manager, One Family T: 01 662 9212 M: 087 2359515
Stuart Duffin, Welfare to Work Manager, One Family T: 01 662 9212 M: 087-0622023