One Family launches 10 Solutions campaign to help get lone parents back to work

One Family – 10 cost neutral suggestions for helping lone parents back to work

Media release, 19 April 2012, One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, announces its ‘One Family-Ten Solutions’ campaign which provides ten cost neutral strategies to assist lone parents back into work or education. This follows Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton’s, statement that she won’t stop lone parent payments when the youngest child is seven unless she receives a commitment in the next Budget on affordable childcare.

‘We welcome Minister Burton’s statement on the need for affordable childcare, and we have nine other suggestions for getting lone parents off welfare and back to work,’ explains Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager.

One Family campaign suggestions include:

Flexibilities: lone parents who move to Jobseeker’s Allowance should only be required to seek work for 15 hours per week during school hours. This would help address many of the child protection concerns around seven year olds being left on their own. Flexibilities also take into account a lack of childcare or transport, having to cope with a child with a disability or a separation or a bereavement, and so on.

Education and Training: development and promotion of a wide range of part-time, modular education and training from all public providers. A range of programmes need to start later and finish earlier to allow parents to look after their children.

Progression Opportunities: Ensure equality of opportunities for lone parents in the work place. Permit One-Parent Family Payment recipients to participate in all activation programmes. Support the promotion and upskilling of lone parents.

Besides the ‘Ten Solutions’ campaign, One Family is also offering to host a cross-party, inter-agency Task & Finish group to evaluate and recommend practical options which will ensure accessible, affordable models for the delivery of child and after school care services across the State.

Stuart Duffin continues, ‘If these suggestions for a joined-up welfare to work strategy for lone parents are not adopted, child poverty will rise by the end of this Dail. We need to take a step in the direction out of poverty and welfare dependence; not an approach which limits lone parents’ chances and quality outcomes for their children.’

For the full Campaign see


For more information contact:

Hilary Fennell, Communications Manager, One Family  T: 01 662 9212  M: 087 2359515

Stuart Duffin, Welfare to Work Manager, One Family T: 01 662 9212 M: 087-0622023

One Family,Ten Solutions – cost neutral solutions to help lone parents back into work & education

Stuart Duffin, One Family, Welfare to Work Manager, was at the 66th Labour Party Conference in Galway over the weekend promoting One Family’s course of   action in response to Budget 2012.  All 750 copies of the paper, One Family – Ten Solutions – Smarter Futures were taken and read. One Family is advocating cost neutral administrative and management approaches which would facilitate those parenting alone back into work and education. There is overwhelming support for our stance on flexibilites; that is, that 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 and parental caring responsibilities that have arisen around 7 year olds being left on their own. A series of flexibilities or exemptions are required as per the UK and many other countries to allow for a lack of childcare, lack of transport, a child with a disability, separation, bereavement, etc, This is a first step in a journey to ensure that lone parents and in particular children in lone parent families do not suffer disproportionally in the current economic climate.

See the full document here Ten Solutions

For more information on flexibilities for lone parents who are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Look here

Here is some relevant Census 2011 data on Lone Parents in Ireland:

1 in 8 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family,  567,311 persons out of a general population of 4,588,252.

1 in 4 (25.8%) families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family, 215,315 lone parent families out of 834,266 families with children.

Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland, 567,311 persons

13.5 per cent of one-parent families are headed by a father, 29,031 lone fathers as opposed to 186,284 lone mothers.

1 in 5 (21.7%) children live in a one-parent family,351,996 children in one-parent families, out of a national total of 1,625,975 children