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May is here

and for us it's always an exciting month as we celebrate our annual Family Day Festival. We hope you'll join us for a packed day of free fun and frolics on Sunday 18 May.

In April new research in the UK carried out by NatCen Social research found that children raised by a single parent are no less happy than those living with two biological parents. Rather than family composition, it is the quality of relationships at home which are most strongly linked to a child’s well-being. Also last month we launched the evaluation of our pilot Child Contact Centres and our Key Learnings policy document, and attended the hearings by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice in relation to the Children and Family Relationships Bill to highlight our concerns regarding ancillary supports for court, child safety issues and Child Contact Centres. Find out more below.

In recent weeks the housing crisis in Ireland has been a focus of media coverage, including a number of distressing stories highlighting the experiences of some lone parents and their children, and we are hearing from many families that they are 'on the edge'. Read on for the results of last month's survey on Housing Supports and to take our current survey on Housing and Rent Supplement limits.

Sunday 18 May

One Family first hosted Family Day in Dublin's beautiful Iveagh Gardens in 2011. Inspired by UN International Day of Families, and acknowledging in 2014 the 20th anniversary of UN International Year of the Family, the festival - which is free - has become Ireland's largest celebration of family diversity with almost 10,000 attending last year. This year we welcome comedian Aidan Bishop as MC and regular highlight, magician Brian Daly. Contemporary and ethnic music and dance performances, family entertainers and the chance to enjoy workshops from the top children's cultural organisations in the country also contribute to a not to be missed highlight of the Summer! Find out more about the Family Day Festival. Why not be a part of it and volunteer for International Volunteer's Week? We'd love to hear from you.

Child Contact Centres 

Our new policy document Child Contact Centre: Key Learnings was  launched by the Hon Mr Justice Michael White along with the evaluation of the pilot Child Contact Centres. These vital services are now closed due to lack of funding. They provided family assessments, safe contact for children in high-conflict families, family support services and court reports. One Family is very concerned that children are having unsafe court-ordered contact daily as courts are not resourced with high quality family assessments and are unable to make evidence-based decisions. 
Our CEO Karen Kiernan and Stuart Duffin, our Director of Policy & Programmes, attended the hearings by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice in relation to the Children & Family Relationships Bill and highlighted these concerns.

Survey

Our Budget 2015 Panel - ten lone parents and/or parents sharing parenting who are collaborating with us on our budget submission - 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 Housing and Rent Supplement Limits. You can take it by clicking here now. To read what you told us last month about Housing Supports, click here.
 

Training

Our training courses for professionals working with families are running in Dublin, Ballinasloe, Waterford and Mullingar. Family Communications: Coping with Family Life and Communication with Teenagers is an accredited programme meaning that professionals can qualify to facilitate it on completion, utilising our 40+ years of experience. If you deliver parenting courses, work as a family support worker, social worker, youth worker, family therapist, educator, drugs project worker or counsellor, this is the course for you. We also have upcoming parenting skills courses. Find out more.
 

Social Club

Among the range of services and facilities we offer to lone parents and parents sharing parenting, their children and their family members, is our monthly social club. This is an outing to a carefully selected location (in or close to Dublin) for lone parents and their children. It offers a rare chance to have fun and socialise with other parents in similar circumstances while your children are happily entertained. This month's outing is on 26 May. Why not join us? Email or call us on 01 662 9212 to find out more and reserve your place. Children are at the centre of our work. If you'd like to learn more about how we can help you, please click here. 
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.
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Cherish House, 2 Lr Pembroke St, Dublin 2, Ireland
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