Budget 2017 Summary

One Family has summarised some of the key announcements in Budget 2017 that may affect people parenting alone and sharing parenting. While some of the budgetary measures are welcomed, overall we see Budget 2017 as a missed opportunity to strategically support vulnerable one-parent families.  All the recommendations from our Pre-Budget Submission and the recent NUIG report on Lone Parents and Activation, What Works and Why: A Review of the International Evidence in the Irish Context must be fully implemented particularly given the enormously high poverty rates experienced by these families.

Some of our key concerns regarding the Budget include the removal of capped fees for low income families returning to work or education under the new Single Affordable Childcare Programme and the exclusion of stand alone afterschool providers from offering subsidised places under the proposed new childcare scheme. We are also concerned that increases to basic social welfare rates and income disregards for One Family Payment and Job Seekers Transition may not result in a rise in income for those who are also in receipt of Rent Supplement. Any increases in social welfare payments will result in a reduction in rent supports for these families. Anomalies such as these should be analysed in advance of budgetary decisions to ensure that measures taken result in real increases for low income families.
Read our summary of Budget 2017 changes by clicking on the image below.

Ten Years Old

askonefamily, our helpline, is ten years years old this year. It provides a listening ear to parents who may be experiencing stress or difficulties in their family life and relationships, as well as information on social welfare entitlements and issues, family law issues, housing, health, education, finances, childcare, parenting and community supports. Throughout these ten years, askonefamily has experienced a consistent annual increase in queries. Last year, calls were up by 20% and over 3,000 queries were received. With askonefamily, one-parent families can be reassured in knowing that they have access to a supportive, friendly, trained and informed staff team.

We have two new upcoming workshops for professionals who work with families:Supporting Families in Conflict-Reducing Communication and Supporting Separating Parents to Successfully Share Parenting.

Supporting Families in Conflict-Reducing Communication (Sligo, 29 November) explores building skills to support parents in practicing clear and direct communication in relation to common family dilemmas, using a non-violent communication framework, identifying communications styles, understanding the connection between needs and choices of behaviour, exploring the benefits and disadvantages of conflict within relationships and families, and more. 

Supporting Separating Parents to Successfully Share Parenting (Limerick, 2 December) is a solution-focussed workshop that will explore ways in which parents can be supported to talk with children about family change after a separation. It will equip practitioners with the language to help parents through this time in their lives.

For further information and to book your place, click here.

Erasmus+ Strategic European Project for Adult Education - Achieving Work-Family Balance for Lone Parents

One Family is taking part in a European Welfare-to-Work Project over the next two years. The project was created in response to the European-wide growing need to integrate lone parents into the job market more effectively, lowering the risk of poverty in lone-parent households and allowing this target group to unlock its full potential in contributing to the European workforce in 21st century. Lone parents often experience in-work poverty. The necessity to balance employment with parenting and the covert discrimination they face at the labour market can lead lone parents to seek less qualified, lower paying and precarious employment. What is needed are easily accessible learning tools for both employers (HR specialists, small business owners etc.) and lone parents to help them to work more efficiently together and help achieve the considerable potential of lone. This project aims to support lone parents to stay employed and to engage with employers and HR specialists to achieve this.

The project will explore ways to involve parents and employers more intensively in online learning, and maximise their long-term learning outcomes.

Two programmes will be produced over a two-year period:
  1. Disadvantaged lone parents in employment who struggle to keep and progress in their job.
  2. HR specialists and small business owners who want to use the professional potential of lone parents and avoid fluctuation of experienced staff.
Our project will develop practical educational modules both for lone parents and HR specialists from a variety of organisations. These modules will combine experience and best training practices from all partners. We will achieve a wider accessibility of the modules by making them available online.

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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