One Family Pre-Budget Submission 2015

“If you looked at me you’d never think I have only €16 to my name. I wear a suit to work in a very well known company, my son is in a good crèche, I live in a 3 bedroom house (because it’s €100k in negative equity so I can’t afford to sell it). And here I am, without money for food.” – Lone parent quoted in One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission 2015

The overarching message of our Pre-Budget Submission 2015 is that all people share in Ireland, and we must believe that government has a responsibility to help people develop their strengths and their potential. We must look to long-term programmes to empower our communities, rather than short-term patches.

Last year we called for collaborators to work with One Family on an on-going basis in crafting our pre-budget submission. Subsequently, the One Family Budget Panel was formed in January 2014. The panel consists of twelve parents. It comprises those parenting alone and sharing parenting; parents from each Provence – urban and rural are represented; the age distribution of representation goes from 24 to 55; 60% of the parents are working either part or full-time; 45% of the parents are in education and/or training full or part-time; the gender split is 85% female and 15% male; 65% of the panel’s parents are in receipt of some form of social assistance, either One Parent Family Payment, Family Income Support or Carer’s Allowance.

The panel makes up a representative sample of lone parents across Ireland and its members collaborated with One Family to produce a pre-budget submission which reflects the lived reality for one-parent families in Ireland.

One Family further ensured the inclusion of the voices of lone parents and parents sharing parenting in our Pre-Budget Submission by inserting direct quotes from parents who responded to our monthly surveys and other One Family initiatives. Some of these quotes are included below:

“No one realises how vulnerable a single parent on benefits actually is. The housing and childcare are the two biggest practical issues I faced, along with stigma and isolation and loneliness and all the rest of it…when you cannot find a roof over your head it really hurts, it affects your mental health also.” 

“For all the talk and publicity about anti-discrimination, there are many instances of legalised discrimination against lone parents in this country. Even if childcare was available, One Parent Family recipients cannot avail of employment where the employer is receiving Revenue Job Assist or JobsPlus schemes.”

“I believe my child deserves the same rights and to be treated with the same dignity as any child of a two parent family. What prevents this from happening is lack of adequate and affordable childcare.”

 “I feel as I have been discriminated against by Revenue and the Government on these tax credit changes based on the fact that I am a dad and not the recipient of the children’s allowance. This has affected my net income, which is no more than the average industrial wage, by reducing it by €47 per week. This is crippling my ability to survive and meet my financial commitments and most importantly my ability to do the things I have endeavoured to do with my children.”

“I have a mortgage but since the breakdown of my marriage I am in significant arrears. Other party not engaging. I am struggling to keep a roof over my daughters head. No mortgage supports available to me.”

“We are caught in positions that revolve around our child care hours and location. It is extraordinarily difficult to further our careers as generally promotion equals more hours, and/or additional training which is impossible when you have to race back before the crèche closes.”

“It’s the feeling of being trapped by your circumstance, of knowing that you’ll never get out of it, that causes the low feelings and of feeling like a failure as a mother towards your child. It’s the fact that it’s not a temporary situation that causes these feelings for me. And it seems to be so hard for other people to understand, and makes it all the more difficult to handle, causing further isolation, maybe secrecy of the situation, bringing only further feelings of inadequacy.”

“What we need now, both lone mothers and fathers, is for policy makers to recognise the difficulties we face in parenting alone. We’re not looking for favours, just equal opportunities to provide for our kids to the best of our abilities.”

If you wish to read/download One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission 2015, it is available here: One Family 2015 Pre-Budget Submission_June 2014.


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One-Parent Family Success Stories at One Family and our Pre-Budget Submission

Press Release

One-Parent Family Success Stories at One Family

Government Must Step Up to the Mark
and Enable Lone Parents to have a Fighting Chance in our Economy

(Dublin, Wednesday 18 June 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for one-parent families – celebrates the achievements of almost 100 lone parents who have completed its courses throughout the past year at a Graduation Ceremony in the Conference Centre, Dublin Castle on Thursday 19 June at 10am in the week that it also makes its Pre-Budget Submission calling on Government to invest in one-parent families.

Recent response to media coverage of mother and baby homes has demonstrated again that people, women in particular, who parent alone still experience stereotyping, stigma and shame. One Family issued a statement in response to this harrowing topic last week which can be read here. This coverage has proved distressing for many One Family clients, lone parents and their children. Now, it is timely to celebrate those inspirational lone parents and people sharing parenting who have successfully overcome many challenges in pursuit of their awards.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “The parents celebrating their graduation this week want to learn more and they want to work. They want to build on the successes being celebrated. 58% of lone parents in Ireland today are working. One Family wants to see a clear political commitment in the 2015 budget to enable those most in need to return to work and education and create better futures for their children by provision of key supports such as affordable, quality childcare. An investment in childcare is an investment in one-parent families.”

Many of today’s Graduands have completed One Family’s flagship New Futures training which is FETAC Level 4 accredited and offers personal and professional development with wrap-around supports including one-to-one mentoring. Others have completed the One Family parenting programmes Family Communications and Positive Parenting, designed to strengthen family relationships, enable parents to understand difficult behaviour in children, and learn techniques to promote conflict resolution. Other parents who are parenting alone or sharing parenting are to be celebrated for taking a pro-active role in crafting One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission by participating in the organisation’s Budget Panel to help ensure that the voices of one-parent and shared parenting families are heard by Government.

One Family’s Director of Policy and Programmes, Stuart Duffin, comments: “One Family’s Budget Panel members are asking a simple question: ‘Will the 2015 budget improve the position of the poorest families and will children’s well-being be prioritised as the economy recovers?’ Paid work can make a difference for families, but this needs to accommodate the needs of children, income adequacy and security. The government’s focus has been on economic growth and jobs as a silver bullet solution to poverty. However, many lone parents and those sharing parenting cannot undertake or maintain enough paid work to sustain a family because of changes in tax and the lack of jobs. It is vital that government adopts a comprehensive strategy to reduce child and family poverty, a much broader strategy is needed to address the underlying causes.”

People parenting alone – including those parents receiving their Certificates this week – are all job-seekers and need to have adequate income to raise their children. All parents need sufficient levels of income security but today Ireland’s poorest families do not have enough to live on. It is crucial that the social welfare safety net that supports families in tough times is repaired and strengthened to enable the one-parent families who need to avail of it to create better outcomes. Children in all families deserve the chance to thrive.


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 the Family Day Festival, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today ( For further information, visit

Available for Interview

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

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