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It's been a tough month for families

especially for those who parent alone and other diverse family types. 

On 3 July the changes to the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP), first announced in Budget 2012, left thousands of lone parents reeling. They must now attempt to make sense of overly complicated new criteria and disastrous impacts.Lone parents in employment are most harshly hit. Many already on the edge ofpoverty are now forced to adjust to even bleaker futures with income lossesof up to €200 per week increasing fear and insecurity. You can read our press release here.

The following week, following Oireachtas hearings, the Justice Committee published its report on the draft Children & Family Relationships Bill, which One Family views as a missed opportunity

In this year of the 20th anniversary of UN International Year of the Family, it is disheartening also that Resolution A/HRC/26/L.20/Rev.1 was passed at the UN, meaning that a more narrow definition of the family is being adopted, though we welcomed Ireland's NO vote. We also welcomed the publication of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 this month while highlighting some concerns that must be addressed.

Our survey last month was on the topic of shame and lone parents. The results make for distressing - though sadly unsurprising - reading, with 78% of respondents stating that members of one-parent families have experienced shame because of their family type. The highest incidence was reported as occurring in the Department of Social Protection. The stigma directed towards people parenting on their own outside of the 'traditional' family unit remains a thing of the present, not only of our recent, tragic history of mother and baby homes.

These are challenging times. We will not stop campaigning for increased supports for parents who are moved off the One-Parent Family Payment. Government reforms are actively working against their stated aims to support lone parents to return to employment as we are hearing from parents for whom work is not now possible. We have achieved some success to date in securing the Jobseeker's Allowance Transition payment.

Meanwhile we are grateful the sun is still shining on our ongoing Summer social group outings for parents and their children, and enrollment for our Autumn parenting skills and New Futures programmes is open. And we are delighted that the one-hour radio documentary Cherish All The Childrenexploring the founding of Cherish/One Family in 1972 and featuring fascinating interviews, won an award in the Social Issues Category at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.

Read on for more on the above and other One Family news.

Ireland Votes NO

At the 38th Meeting, 26th Regular Session of the Human Rights Counci Ambassador, Patricia O’Brien – Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations at Geneva – said: “If family is a living dynamic entity and can take many forms, we believe that we must all recognise this diversity, and indeed we have done so consistently over many years in many UN resolutions which recognise that in different cultural, political and social systems various forms of the family exist. We regret that the Resolution before us today fails to take account of the various forms of families which are a vital part of all of our society. For these reasons we will vote no.” Read more here.

New Futures

New Futures is a free 16 week training and support programme developed by One Family, accredited at FETAC Level 4/5. It takes place on two mornings per week in Dublin 2. We provide free childcare for participants, one to one mentoring throughout the programme, and additional supports and services where needed. The programme supports lone parents and people sharing parenting to further their education or prepare for employment with plenty of help along the way. Participants will discover what jobs or courses suit them; gain confidence; get support and friendship from parents in similar situations; and learn how to balance work and family life. Find out more here.

The Monthly Survey

Our Budget 2015 Panel - twelve lone parents and/or parents sharing parenting who are collaborating with us on our budget and policy submissions - discuss a different topic every month including housing, childcare and the importance of after school care, tax credits, in work incentives and educational supports for people parenting alone. 

You can be part of the discussion too by taking our anonymous 3 question survey. This month's survey is on Financial Inclusion. You can take it by clicking here now. To read what you told us last month about Shame, click here.

Parenting Skills

Three of our parenting courses are also now open for enrollment. These are Positive Parenting, Family Communications, and Shared Parenting. Positive Parenting explores the needs of children, reasons why they misbehave and techniques to handle difficult behaviour. Family Communications teaches clear and direct communication for common family dilemmas. Shared Parenting, for parents who are separated, separating or divorced,  helps parents to learn how to communicate clearly and directly in order to promote a positive parenting relationship, and to manage conflict so that children are kept at the centre of parenting. Learn more.

Young People in Care

One Family offers a wide variety of services in addition to our ongoing lobbying and other work. Our Young People in Care service is open to young women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby, and to young men who are about to become or have just become dads, who are currently living in care or have recently moved into their own pace. It provides ongoing practical support and information and a safe and confidential place to talk over any worries or concerns. The service is free and can be contacted directly by young people. Contact Lisa by text on 086 079 3072 or by email to We also accept referrals from professionals who can call 01 662 9212.
If you missed the Today FM documentary Cherish All The Children about our establishment in 1972, featuring interviews with our brave founders, our first President Mary Robinson and many more,
You can listen here.
Read this month's press releases issued by One Family.
One Family believes in an Ireland where every family is cherished equally, and enjoys the social, financial and legal equality to create their own positive future.
Learn more about One Family.
Our mailing address is:
Cherish House, 2 Lr Pembroke St, Dublin 2, Ireland
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