Public call to give one-parent families an equal chance for economic well-being in Budget 2014

Press Release

(Dublin, Friday 19 July) Today One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, calls on members of the public to email and connect with their local TDs to demand the implementation of One Family’s “10 Solutions for Smarter Futures,” a series of ten no-nonsense, low or no-cost actions that government must implement to better the lives of the adults and children in one-parent families who continue to experience the highest rates of poverty in Ireland. 2014 is the 20th anniversary of Family Day as proclaimed by the UN – the Irish Government should reflect this by giving one-parent families an equal chance.

There are over 215,000 one-parent families in Ireland today and over half a million people living in one-parent families. One Family calls on each of these families, and everyone who knows a member of a one-parent family, to join in the campaign by emailing their local TD to ensure that all of Ireland’s families can enjoy a higher quality of life.

One Family Director of Policy and Programmes, Stuart Duffin, commented: “The 10 Solutions are all about delivering some of the supports needed to enable lone parents to have Smarter Futures out of poverty, off social assistance and into quality sustainable jobs.  These solutions may not require a lot of money but they do require public services and policy makers to think and behave creatively in order to deliver more appropriate and effective services for their customers and constituents.”

10 Solutions for Smarter Futures is part of One Family’s Strategy 2013-2015, launched last month on the 28th.  These solutions are focused on improving the well-being of Ireland’s one parent families, and they are changes that will benefit everyone. Just over 87,000 people are in receipt of the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP).  Mr. Duffin explains: “The new Jobseekers Allowance payment, which responds to our call for Flexibilities, is designed to allow former recipients of OFP whose youngest child is under 14 years of age to avail  of Minister Burton’s activation services to return to work, education or training. The implementation of 10 Solutions for Smarter Futures would make a real difference for lone parents as they move into the workplace, education and/or training as the solutions fully recognise the particular difficulties that can be faced by those parenting alone such as lack of child care and long-term absence from the labour market.”

Mr. Duffin commented further: “To help some of the poorest children in Ireland have a better life, please champion and advocate for 10 Solutions.

One Family’s Number 1 solution is:

Flexibilities: allow lone parents who are moving to Jobseeker’s Allowance to seek only part-time work during the school term in order to assist lone parents who have a child with a disability or lack of access to childcare or are coping with a bereavement or separation.

Others include: solution 5 – Responsive Learning; solution 6 – Progression Opportunities; solution 10 – Poverty and Parent Proofing.

Members of the public are invited to visit to learn more about 10 Solutions for Smarter Futures and to add their voices to the campaign by availing of the facility there to email their TDs. For additional information, they may also email:

Notes for Editors:

  • 1 in 4 families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family
  • Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland
  • 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)
  • 87,586 of those are currently receiving the One-Parent Family Payment.
  • Those living in lone parent households continue to experience the highest rates of deprivation with almost 56% of individuals from these households experiencing one or more forms of deprivation (EU-SILC 2011).
  • The full 10 Solutions for Smarter Futures document is available to read here.
  • Twitter #10Solutions


About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 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 experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to those 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 622 212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today, with almost 10,000 people attending events this year on 19 May ( For further information, visit


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: 01 662 9212 or 087 414 8511


One Family supports Welfare reform

Media Release, Weds 29 August 2012

In response to today’s news that the EU has warned Government that it needs to reform our welfare system, One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, welcomes the broad recommendations and in particular the broadening of the tax base.

Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager explains, ‘Despite what the economists might say, the jobs recovery has not yet begun. Low-income people, particularly those parenting alone, are facing two significant challenges. The first is simply keeping their heads above water, as they struggle to cover their rent or mortgage, to meet the continually rising costs of energy, to cover the costs of transportation, of putting food on the table and of educating their children, all during a period of high unemployment and few sustainable labour market opportunities. The second challenge is how to develop the skills necessary to participate in any economic recovery and to be capable of benefiting from future economic growth.’

Any successful poverty reduction strategy for Ireland must include a new approach to social assistance programmes that recognises these challenges.  The Irish Government needs an overall vision for social assistance. Its adoption of poverty reduction as a goal in social policy must be echoed by creating a 21st century income security system, with underlying principles recognizing diversity through creating equity, treating people with dignity and respect, enhancing social and economic inclusion and eradicating poverty traps.

Duffin continues, ‘One Family’s Ten Solutions are all about delivering some of the supports needed to enable those parenting alone to have better futures out of poverty, off social assistance and in quality, sustainable jobs.  A key element of reform will be the Government’s commitment to flexibilities within the system:  for example, lone parents who transition to Jobseeker’s Allowance should not be required to be available for fulltime work but rather for 15 hours per week during school hours. This should mitigate many of the child protection concerns that have arisen around 7 year olds being left on their own. A series of flexibilities or exemptions are required in the UK and many other countries to allow for a lack of childcare, lack of transport, a child with a disability, separation, bereavement, home-schooling and so on.’


For more information contact Hilary Fennell, Communications Manager, One Family, 01 6629212 / 087 2359515 or  Stuart Duffin, Welfare to Work Manager, 087 0622023