Min Joan Burton TD addresses Lone Parents at One Family Graduation

Media Release

Minister Joan Burton TD addresses Lone Parents as they graduate from One Family Welfare to Work Programmes

Part-time requirement to work being seriously considered by Minister Burton – announcement at the launch of our Annual Review 2011 and graduation today. Following a critique of recent cuts aimed at lone parents and recommendations from One Family, the Minister has undertaken to review how lone parents will be moved onto Job Seeker’s Allowance when their youngest child is 7. This is a positive and necessary move as it is completely unreasonable to expect lone parents to be available for full time work.

Friday 29 June 2012, St Andrews Resource Centre, Dublin 2 Over 150 lone parents graduated today from a wide range of career and personal development programmes run by One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families.

Speaking at today’s graduation, and at the launch of One Family’s Annual Review, Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, TD stressed the need for a joined up approach to the delivery of services for one-parent families.

Also speaking at the launch, The Norwegian Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Roald Naess, commented that we should, ‘Dispel the notion that Norway has a good welfare system because of oil. Norway has an effective welfare system because it views the system as an investment in human capital which delivers opportunities for people.’

Explaining how One Family services aim to do just that, Karen Kiernan, One Family Director, said, ‘Improved co-ordination of services for lone parents will ensure that they get the personalised support that they need, whilst avoiding unnecessary duplication. One Family understands that lone parents often face multiple barriers to their progress, all of which need to be addressed. For example, a lone parent who has been out of the job market for ten years will have training needs, but will also require access to career counselling and employment services. That is why our programmes, including the flagship New Futures initiative, take an holistic approach to each parent’s needs, offering tailored help in the shape of career, personal, employment and mentoring support.’

One Family Welfare to Work programmes give lone parents, who are most at risk of being long-term unemployed, the supports they need to get them into the jobs market or back to education. The programmes have a high success rate – from this year’s 150 graduates 80% of parents have already progressed to work, mainly part-time, and 70% are moving on to third level education.

Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager added, ‘It has been a real honour to work with the 150 committed and hard-working lone parents on our many and varied programmes over what has been a very difficult year for one-parent families. One Family is proud to host today’s graduation and we will continue to work to create better lives for lone parents and their children.’

One Family’s Ten Solutions Smarter Futures campaign has ten effective cost neutral administrative and management solutions to facilitate those parenting alone back into work and education, as Stuart Duffin continued, ‘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.’


 For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson:

Contact Hilary Fennell, Communications Manager, One Family 087 2359515/ 01 6629212


Note to Editors:

For more information on One Family Welfare to Work Programmes see


For more information on One Family Ten Solutions Campaign see


About One Family

One Family has been providing specialist family support services to people parenting alone and sharing parenting for 40 years.  Services include parenting and skills training, counselling, parent mentoring and national information supports.