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Policy | Lone Parents Still Have the Highest Rate of Consistent Poverty – SILC Report

The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2016 results released in December 2017 showed:

Deprivation rates for lone parents

Lone parents are still struggling to meet the costs of living for themselves and their children. This includes the basics such as housing, food, heating and clothes. This is unacceptable and should not be normalised. Ireland is not a poor country and government need to carefully consider the allocation of resources to ensure the most vulnerable are protected. There has been a minimal decrease in consistent poverty rates and  more needs to be done to honour government commitments on child poverty.

Households that are excluded and marginalised from consuming goods and services which are considered the norm for other people in society, due to an inability to afford them, are considered to be deprived.  The identification of the marginalised or deprived is currently achieved on the basis of a set of eleven basic deprivation indicators. Deprivation is the inability to afford at least two of thesebasic necessities, such as going 24 hours without a substantial meal or being cold because parents are unable to afford to heat the home.Individuals who experience two or more of the eleven listed items are considered to be experiencing enforced deprivation.

  1. Two pairs of strong shoes
  2. A warm waterproof overcoat
  3. Buy new (not second-hand) clothes
  4. Eat meal with meat, chicken, fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day
  5. Have a roast joint or its equivalent once a week
  6. Had to go without heating during the last year through lack of money
  7. Keep the home adequately warm
  8. Buy presents for family or friends at least once a year
  9. Replace any worn out furniture
  10. Have family or friends for a drink or meal once a month
  11. Have a morning, afternoon or evening out in the last fortnight for entertainment
  • Those living in households with one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest deprivation rate in 2016 at 50.1%.
  • Those living in lone parent households continue to experience the highest rates of deprivation with over half of individuals from these households experiencing one or more forms of enforced deprivation. This compares to 21% of the general population who experienced deprivation- meaning lone parents are 2.5 times as likely to be experiencing deprivation than the rest of the population.
  • People in lone parent households continue to have the lowest disposable income out of all households with children in the State.

Consistent poverty rates for lone parents

Consistent poverty means that children are living in households with incomes below 60% of the national median incomeof €237.45 per week and experiencing deprivation based on the agreed 11 deprivation indicators.

  • Individuals living in households where there was one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest consistent poverty rate at 24.6%- a small decrease of 1.6% from 2015.This is compared to a consistent poverty rate of 6.4% for two-parent households. This means that lone parents are four times as likely to be living in consistent poverty compared to two-parent households.

At risk of poverty rates for lone parents

At risk of poverty means that lone parents and their children are living in households with incomes below 60% of the national median income of €237.45 per week

  • The ‘at risk of poverty’ rate for households with one adult and one or more children aged under 18 was 40.2% in 2016- an increase of 4% since 2015.
  • 40.2% of lone parent households are at risk of poverty. This is compared to an at risk of poverty rate of 12% for two-parent households. This means that lone parents are almost 3.5 times as likely to be at risk of poverty compared to households with two parents.

The report shows an 8% reduction in deprivation rate for lone parents but 4% increase in numbers at risk of poverty. The longer a lone parent stays in the at risk of poverty category the more likely they are to start experiencing enforced deprivation. These two combined mean they will then be living in consistent poverty so an increase in lone parents at risk of poverty is worrying and these families need support now to prevent this from happening.

 Further Information

  • The types of deprivation most commonly experienced by those at risk of poverty were an inability to replace worn out furniture(41.2%), afford a morning/afternoon/evening out (36.0%) and have family/friends over for a meal/drink (32.3%).
  • The types of deprivation most commonly experienced by those living in consistent poverty were an inability to replace worn out furniture(71.7%), afford a morning/afternoon/evening out (63.9%) and have family/friends over for a meal/drink (60.7%).
  • Under half of those living in consistent poverty (48.1%) reported going without heating at some stage in the last 12 months.
  • Indecon- the SILC data reinforces Indecon data- lone parents are living in poverty since the OFP reforms.
  • ESRI- the SILC data supports recent ESRI research which showed that lone parents were the group most affected by poverty and deprivation, and the group with the highest risk of deprivation.

Read the full release from CSO here.

Read One Family’s recommendations here

Press Release | Budget 2018 will be a Litmus Test of Taoiseach’s Commitment to Lift 100,000 Children Out of Poverty

Press Release

Budget 2018 will be a litmus test of Taoiseach’s commitment to lift 100,000 children out of poverty

Dublin, 21st July 2017 Leading NGOs in Ireland have joined voices ahead of the annual Pre-Budget Forum taking place on Friday the 21st July to call on the Government to ensure Budget 2018 includes key provisions to tackle child poverty. Barnardos, Children’s Rights Alliance, National Youth Council of Ireland, One Family and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul are deeply concerned that one in nine children remain in consistent poverty and believe not enough is being done to remedy this.

“We welcome that An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has made a clear public commitment that lifting 100,000 children out of consistent poverty will be a priority for him. This Government target provides a clear goal to work towards and to track progress against. Budget 2018 presents an ideal opportunity for An Taoiseach to demonstrate his commitment to children.” said Tanya Ward, Chief Executive, Children’s Rights Alliance.

The group has compiled a report outlining a clear roadmap of practical solutions that would make a real positive difference in children’s lives. The group believe a combination of adequate income supports and investment in quality public services is central to reducing child poverty.

Karen Kiernan, CEO, One Family said “It is particularly important to understand where the poorest children in Ireland live and to provide targeted supports. Children living in one-parent families are 3.5 times more likely to be poor than children in two parent families, and these are families who have been hit hard by Budget cuts and reforms in recent years.”

Government investment in quality early years services makes good sense. Yet Ireland continues to seriously lag behind internationally in levels of investment.

Tanya Ward, CEO, Children’s Rights Alliance said “Poverty can destroy a child’s life. Making childcare affordable is a route out of poverty because it helps children to learn and supports parents to work. Budget 2018 must invest in childcare so families can better afford it, services can improve in quality, and every child can reach their potential – not be stuck in a poverty trap.”

Succeeding in education unlocks children’s potential and enables them to escape poverty. However, participation in the education system comes at cost that pushes many families into debt.

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said “Access to free primary education is a right for all children and it can be realised for as little as €103m per annum, just €185 per pupil. This would cover the costs of books, classroom resources, remove transport fees and voluntary contributions and raise the capitation rates back to 2010 levels.”

The housing crisis continues to escalate with nearly 2,800 homeless children, as well as those living in insecure, overcrowded and unsuitable accommodation.

Hazel O’Byrne, Head of Social Justice and Policy, St. Vincent de Paul commented “Access to secure, long-term accommodation is the solution for these families and that can best be provided through increased investment to build and acquire additional social housing.  Until this is available, flexibility to increase the rates of HAP and Rent Supplement can help to prevent further families becoming homeless.”

Having a long term approach to investing in services rather than annual Budgetary cycles will prove more beneficial in building a more sustainable equitable society for our children.

Mary Cunningham, Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland said “Progress on reducing child poverty rates requires long-term and strategic investment in services and supports. Increased investment in Budget 2018 in services, such the School Meals Programme and Youth Work, is crucial. Investment in these services will make a real difference in the lives of children and young people in the long-term.”

It is essential Budget 2018 shows clear political commitment and investment in implementing Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures and specifically actions that will reduce child poverty. Condemning 139,000 children to grow up in poverty is not a legacy to be proud of.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:
Link to NGO Submission on Actions to Achieve Child Poverty Target (November 2016)

Consistent poverty: proportion of people from those with an income below a certain threshold (less than 60% of median income / €230 per week), who are deprived of two or more goods or services considered essential for a basic standard of living (e.g. a warm waterproof overcoat, an adequately warm home) .

Contact:
Barnardos: June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy:  087 9955076
Children’s Rights Alliance: Tanya Ward, CEO: 087 6531069
National Youth Council of Ireland: Mary Cunningham, Director: 087 2385977
One Family: Karen Kiernan, CEO, 086 8509191
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul: Hazel O’Byrne, Head of Social Justice and Policy: 085 8010308

Press Release | One-Parent Families almost Four Times More Likely than Two-Parent Households to Live in Consistent Poverty – SILC

Press Release

One-Parent Families almost Four Times More Likely than Two-Parent Households to Live in Consistent Poverty According to new Survey on Income and Living Conditions

Government must do more to remove the barriers trapping thousands of lone parents and their children in poverty.

(Dublin, Wednesday 2nd February 2017) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – responds to the latest figures from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2014 published today with alarm.  Individuals living in households where there was one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest consistent poverty rate at 26.2%, an increase from 25% in 2014. This is compared to a consistent poverty rate of 7.7% for two-parent households, meaning that lone parents and their children are almost four times more likely to be living in consistent poverty compared to two-parent households.

Deprivation is the inability to afford at least two basic necessities, from a list of 11, such as going 24 hours without a substantial meal or being cold because parents are unable to afford to heat the home. Of those living in households with one adult and one or more children aged under 18, 57.9% suffered deprivation in 2015. This shocking evidence of poverty underlines concerns that these families are being left behind.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “Yesterday’s SILC results reflect and amplify what we keep saying. People parenting alone tell us through our askonefamily helpline and our mentoring, counselling, education and other support services, that they live in constant fear on the knife edge of poverty. Despite many existing measures being taken with the stated aim of helping lone parents return to the workforce, it is clear that these families are not being lifted out of consistent poverty. Government is still not fully addressing the lived reality of these parents’ caring responsibilities.”

Valerie Maher, One Family Policy & Programmes Manager, comments: “These figures also show that 36.2% of lone parent households are at risk of poverty with only a 0.3% reduction in this figure since 2014, despite the implementation of the reform of the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP). This is compared to an at risk of poverty rate of 14.5% for two-parent households. While a welcomed partial reversal of OFP reform was announced in last year’s Budget, we also called for full restoration of the Income Disregard to support lone parents in work, more to acknowledge those who share parenting, and changes to Family Income Support (FIS) criteria, to help improve outcomes for vulnerable families. A defined education pathway for people parenting alone must also be introduced, and cross-departmental cohesion increased. A system that can be clearly understood and is less complicated is long overdue.”

One in four families in Ireland is a one-parent family. Research shows that a key contributor to children’s futures is not the structure of their families but living in consistent poverty.

/Ends.

About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and celebrates its 45th year in 2017.It is Ireland’s leading 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 lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 662212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day every May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today (www.familyday.ie).

This week  One Family launched the results of Ireland’s first national Shared Parenting Survey. The full report can be read here.

SILC 2015 results can be viewed here.

For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.

Available for Interview

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

Further Information/Scheduling

Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 622 9212 or 087 414 8511

 

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

Ends

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  • 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 (www.familyday.ie). For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.

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

 

Press Release | One Family Demands Reform of the One-Parent Family Payment Stops Immediately

One Family demands Reform of the One-Parent Family Payment stops immediately before more poor children are harmed

(Dublin, Tuesday 9 June 2015) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating demands an immediate stop, review and reversal of this current reform.

Stuart Duffin, One Family, Director of Policy and Programmes, comments: “The current reform of the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) is failing our families. This means that Ireland’s most vulnerable parents and children will experience even greater poverty.

This reform is being phased in with the stated aim of enabling lone parents in receipt of the OFP to move from social welfare into education and employment.”

“To date almost 15,000 parents have been moved from OFP when their youngest child reached the age of at least 7 years old; with almost another 30,000 parents scheduled to be transitioned to other payments – primarily the newly introduced Job Seeker’s Transitional Allowance (JSTA) or Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) – in July 2015. Currently, 65,000 people are in receipt of the One Parent Family Payment. However, those who are being hit hardest are those already in part-time employment and many are being forced to give up their jobs. It is incomprehensible how a system of reform purported to enable people parenting alone to return to employment or education is most adversely affecting those who are already in the process of doing so.”

 Stuart further comments: “CSO figures released in January 2015 reveal the shocking extent of child poverty in Ireland. The number of children living in consistent poverty – meaning they are living both at risk of poverty and experiencing deprivation – has risen to nearly 12 per cent and clearly shows that those living in households with one adult and one or more children had the highest deprivation rate in 2013 at 63.2% and the highest consistent poverty rate at 23%. This is shameful. It reduces children’s life chances.

Government needs to admit that its current policies and new reform measures where lone parents are being moved from the One-Parent Family Payment to Job Seekers payments are just not working. Current policies mean that the barriers to lone parents returning to employment or education are leading to an increasing dependence on social welfare over time. Government must to listen and act, as its choices condemn one-parent families and their children to persistent poverty.

/Ends

For further information about our in depth analysis http://www.onefamily.ie/policy-campaigns/one-family-campaigns/one-parent-family-payment-reform-child-poverty/; http://www.onefamily.ie/media-publications/one-family-stories-case-studies/ and our solution focused recommendations.

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, 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 lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 66 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals.

Available for Interview:

Stuart Duffin, Director Policy and Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 0870622023

Dad and child's hands

63% of One-Parent Family Households in Ireland Suffer Deprivation According to SILC Report

Press Release

63% of One-Parent Family Households in Ireland Suffer Deprivation – Shameful!

SILC Report 2013 Launched Today

www.onefamily.ie

(Dublin, Wednesday 21 January 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – reacts to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2013 results published today, which clearly show that those living in households with one adult and one or more children had the highest deprivation rate in 2013 at 63.2% and the highest consistent poverty rate at 23%, with distress but not surprise.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “Today’s SILC results amplify what we keep saying. People parenting alone tell us through our monthly surveys, askonefamily helpline and our mentoring, counselling, education and human services that they live on the knife edge of poverty. Government ignores the lived reality of these parents’ caring responsibilities. It continues to enforce new, ill-formed activation measures without provision of effective supports such the long-promised, affordable quality childcare. Over 39,000 lone parents will be taken off their One-Parent Family Payment and moved to Job Seekers Transitional in July this year. The real impact of this will be even more hardship and we’ll see yet another rise in the numbers of one-parent families suffering deprivation in future reports.”

Stuart Duffin, One Family Director of Policy & Programmes, states: “It is shameful and reduces children’s life chances. People parenting alone are still being hit the hardest. Over 800 lone parents who are also caring for adult family members are set to lose another €86 per week this year. How much further can the income gap widen? Austerity has impacted on everyone. Enforced deprivation was experienced by 30% of the population last year, up from 26% in 2012 and the deprivation rate for those at risk of poverty increased from 46% to 53%, which proves that the income gap is widening. How is that just and fair?”

Stuart continues: “One in four families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family, over half a million people. With two thirds of these families shown to live in deprivation and suffering the highest consistent poverty rate, Government needs to finally admit that its current policies are just not working. People parenting alone want to do their best for their children’s futures and 53% of lone parents are in the labour market. But current policies mean that the barriers to lone parents returning to employment or education are leading to an increasing dependence on social welfare over time. It is very difficult to make progress for your family while living under constant fear of an energy bill or the threat of homelessness, as so many thousands of people parenting alone do today. Government needs to listen and act, as its choices condemn one-parent families to persistent poverty.”

One Family recorded a staggering 30% increase of callers to its askonefamily helpline in 2013. The real impact of years of austerity is only now being realised and one-parent families and parents sharing parenting of their children have borne the brunt of spending cuts. One Family reiterates its call to Government to enact its 10 Solutions campaign, with an immediate focus on provision of affordable and accessible quality local childcare.  Every parent should have an equal opportunity to create a better future for his or her children. All families deserve an equal chance.

Further information on One Family’s 10 Solutions.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) SILC results.

The askonefamily helpline can be contacted on lo-call 1890 66 22 12.

/Ends.

About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families 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 lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 62 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 May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today (www.familyday.ie). For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.

Available for Interview

Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023

Further Information/Scheduling

Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 664 0124 / e: schance@onefamily.ie