A Good News Day for Children
One Family Welcomes Children & Family Relationships Bill
(Dublin, Tuesday 17 February 2015) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and step-parenting today welcomes the passing at Cabinet of the Children & Family Relationships Bill 2015. As an organisation with 42 years of expertise in supporting the real needs of diverse families in Ireland, One Family acknowledges that this Bill is groundbreaking in recognising and supporting the complexity of family arrangements that children live in today.
Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO explains: “We are strongly welcoming this Bill as for the first time in Irish legislation the reality of the families that children live in is recognised, as it will now be possible for children to have legal relationships with the people who are raising them such as their step-parents, informal foster-parents or the second parent in a same-sex headed family. This is important for their safety and wellbeing and shifts the focus to what children really need. We also welcome the fact that the best interests of the child will be central in family law proceedings; that children will need to be consulted on issues affecting them; and that more unmarried fathers will automatically become guardians of their children.”
One Family has been working with families who use the family law courts for over four decades providing specialist family support services so that separated families who share parenting can do so effectively and without conflict. Based on our expertise of what we know families need during this time of transition, we welcome sections of the Bill dealing with Making Parenting Orders Work including the ability to refer parents to mediation, counselling, and parenting programmes.”
Karen continues: “Whilst the Bill is extremely welcome, it is not perfect and in particular we are seeking assurances that a court welfare system and guardianship register will be introduced in the future. We are also concerned about the costs that might be borne by parents who are involved in family law disputes.”
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 2212, 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
Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191