New Report Calls on State to Support One-Parent Families to Escape Poverty
And Cites a Decade of One Family’s Research and Policy Work
(Dublin, Friday 16 June 2017) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – responds to a report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection on the Position of Lone Parents in Ireland which formed a significant part of the Committee’s Work Programme for the last twelve months. It includes a series of proposals to help alleviate the difficulties often faced by those parenting alone or sharing parenting, most of which refer to One Family’s research, presentations to the Committee, and Pre-Budget Submissions over the past decade.
The report cites research completed by One Family in 2008 which sought to examine the barriers to employment faced by the families we represent. The report also references throughout the extensive analyses undertaken by One Family in advance of, and subsequent to, the reforms to the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) announced in Budget 2012, including case studies which highlighted the direct experience of many parents who were impacted by the reforms.
Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “It is heartening that the voices of lone parents have been heard by the Committee through our continued, determined representation. One Family most recently presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee in January 2017 where we spoke about the multiple challenges and barriers that lone parents often face in accessing education or work. The Committee have reiterated and supported what One Family has evidenced in policy work and submissions for the past decade; the main challenges facing lone parents are child poverty, housing costs, availability of affordable childcare, obtaining child maintenance payments, job activation, access to education and changes to the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP). We will continue to fight for the voices of people parenting alone to be heard, and to call for urgent implementation of the proposals of the Committee.”
Valerie Maher, One Family Policy & Programmes Manager, states: “Lone parents have waited long enough. Action is needed to ensure that Government provide a range of measures – including, but not confined to, housing support, childcare access, educational prospects and in-work supports – to empower one-parent families to break free from long-term deprivation and poverty. We acknowledge the extensive work which has gone into the compilation of this report. The next step is ensuring that Budget 2018, and beyond, contains significant measures which can resource these recommendations and make them a reality. In particular, we support the Committee’s recommendations to broaden access to, and increase supports available to those in receipt of, Job Seeker’s Transition (JST) and the call for the establishment of a state body to seek and pursue maintenance payments.”
The full report is available to read on this link.
About One Family One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and celebrates its 45th year in 2017 when the organisation will also relocate to Smithfield, Dublin 7. 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).
For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.
Available for Interview
Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191
Valerie Maher, Policy & Programmes Manager | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 084 6826
Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 622 9212 or 087 414 8511