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Watch them Grow - Unmarried-cohabitant and Solo parenthood in Ireland   


An analysis of the Growing Up in Ireland infant cohort data waves 1 and 2 by Dr. Owen Corrigan for Treoir will be launched in Dublin on Monday 29th September.

The study is a contribution to our understanding of the lives of parents and children in unmarried families in Ireland today.  Treoir has long been interested in understanding:

  • the reasons why children of unmarried parents are over-represented in state care;
  • how the children raised in one parent families fare in terms of general health and emotional wellbeing compared to children in other family types; 
  • what are the social and financial circumstances of unmarried mothers raising children alone; 
  • whether there is movement in and out of different family types; 
  • does crisis pregnancy have a long-term negative impact on mothers and children.   

Dr. Corrigan's analysis of the information collected by Growing Up in Ireland answers these questions and more. 

The publication can be downloaded here following its launch.

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The School and the Family Today  -  ‘Good Practice Guidelines’

The purpose of this new publication is to provide Home School Liaison Teachers & Schools with a best practice approach on policies regarding children living with parents married and unmarried, children of separated parents, same-sex parents, non-biological parents and children in care. Home School Community Liaison Teacher Ann-Maire Waddock, produced this publication with support form the South Inner City HSCLs, Carol Finlay from Dublin City Council, GLEN, the HSE, other community members and with support and guidance from Margot Doherty of Treoir.

School guidelines

Download

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Compulsory Birth Registration 


A new Bill (Civil Registration, Amendment, Bill 2014) was published earlier this month (July 2014) which will make it compulsory for unmarried parents to register the father's name in the Birth Register, except where the father is unknown, his whereabouts are unknown or it is not in the best interests of the safety of the child. This is good news for children. 
Note: this won't affect your entitlement to One Parent Family Payment.

See the Minister's press release here
See article by Margot Doherty, our Assistant CEO, outlining the provisions of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 as published in the online Journal on 19th July 2014. 

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Changes made to After school childcare from Monday 14th July 2014

Changes have been made to the After–school Child Care (ASCC) programme in the Department of Social Protection (DSP). Parents will now pay €3 per day, maximum €15 per week, towards the cost of child care and there will be a free after-school pick-up service available. The ASCC has been expanded to include those on a DSP employment programme. Just be aware that you can only get this help for 52 weeks in total.  TREOIR intends to discuss this with the Department and if you have any views please forward them through our ‘contact’ button and/or on ‘facebook’.


Changes have also been made to the Community Employment Childcare programme, which replaces the CE Childcare Education and Training Support (CE CETS). The new programme has been expanded to include parents with children aged up to 13 years of age at primary school.

To find out about eligibility and for further detail of the changes made to both these programmes see here.

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Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) 2014


Some One Parent Family recipients will automatically be paid the BTSCFA.  If you are one of those who got a letter telling you when and how your allowance is paid then you do not have to do anything.  If you are not one of those who got a letter
 already then you need to apply for the Allowance by filling in application form.  As of 2014, this allowance will only be paid in respect of children attending primary or secondary school.

If any of your children are aged 18  or over you must apply for the Allowance for them and give evidence that they are in second-level education.   This application must be made even if automatic payments have issued for other children in the family.
See here for further information

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Jobseeker's Transition Arrangement for OFP

 

Parents who are no longer eligible for One-Parent Family Payment  (OFP) because of the age of their youngest child can benefit from new transition arrangements for Jobseekers Allowance (JA). While JA recipients must be available for and genuinely seeking full-time work, under these new arrangements:

  • Parents moving from OFP to Jobseeker's Allowance Transition do not have to be "available for and genuinely seeking full-time work".
  • Parents can work part-time without restrictions and still receive the JA Transition payment, subject to the Jobseeker's Allowance means test. 

Conditions: 

  • The youngest child of the parent must be under 14 years of age
  • The parent must be continuing to parent alone (i.e. not cohabiting)
  • The parent must satisfy the full Jobseekers Allowance (JA) means test.

Parents will have access to the 'Intreo' activation supports to help them to progress to or to get into employment. 

For more information call us on 1890 252 084 or find more information here.

To contact your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Local Office see here

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Treoir's Pre-Budget 2015 Submissions

 

In Treoir's Pre-Budget Submission to the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform the following recommendation was made:

Treoir firmly believes that the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit which was introduced to replace the One Parent Family Tax Credit should be reviewed.  The change meant that the "secondary" parent could no longer claim a tax credit as a solo parent.  A review of the change would be an essential first step in addressing this controversial and discriminatory issue which was introduced in Budget 2014.  Fathers sharing the parenting of their children need support for this vital job they are doing.

Read Submission

Treoir's annual Pre-Budget Submission to the Social Welfare Department contained the following recommendations:

- At a minimum,  Social Welfare Payments and the associated ‘secondary’ payments should not be cut or reduced in any way.  An increase of €5 per week would go some way towards addressing the income defecit of solo parents.

- Solo parents in receipt of One Parent Family Payment should be fully supported with training allowances to partake of suitable education and training which will enable them to enter the labour market for a reasonable financial return.

- An increase in the amount of affordable, quality childcare, with preference given to solo parents returning to work.

- Re-instate the earnings disregard for solo parents to encourage them to take up part-time employment while in receipt of One Parent Family Payment which would incentivise employment well before the youngest child reaches seven years of age.

Read Submission

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Mother and Baby Homes

 

The treatment of unmarried mothers and their children in Mother and Baby homes, while hugely disturbing, cannot be blamed solely on those running the homes. Institutions provided refuge, albeit in a harsh environment, while families, politicians, the church and society as a whole failed these mothers and their children.  

In l976 when Treoir, formerly the Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children, was founded, the legal status of children born outside of marriage was “illegitimate” and unmarried fathers did not have any legal recognition except for the purpose of “affiliation and maintenance”. 

In the early days of the organisation the Information Service was used extensively by single pregnant women who were desperately in need of accommodation during their pregnancy as they could not remain at home. Often they did not have the means to support themselves in rented accommodation and generally could not cope with the stigma of being single and pregnant or an unmarried mother. Mother and Baby Homes, Family Placement and travelling to England to give birth were the options for these mothers. 

For more, read Margaret Dromey's article 'Unmarried Parents - The Story So Far'

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Treoir's Information Pack 2014 

 

Good news! The 2014 edition of our 'Information Pack for Unmarried Parents' is now available. It's full of up-to-date information on legal issues, money matters and lots, lots more. Call 1890 252 084 or email info@treoir.ie for your free copy.

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Treoir's Submission on the Family Relationships Bill 2014 

 

See Treoir's Submission on the General Scheme of a Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014 to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice Defence and Equality.  The Bill  deals with many different types of families. Our submission mainly focuses on:

*    Rights of Unmarried Fathers who are not Cohabiting
*    Cohabitation Condition
*    Establishment of a Central Register for Guardianship Agreements
*    The Child's Right to Identity
*    Terminology
*    An unlimited number of Guardians
*    Definition of Guardianship
*    Need for clarity around Parentage and Guardianship

Read Submission.

Read Treoir's articles about the proposed changes in family law in the upcoming Child & Family Bill:

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Children First Bill 2014

 

Treoir welcomes the publication of the Children First Bill 2014.  There has been a lack of clarity about obligations to report cases of consensual sexual activity between young people under the age of consent. We welcome the fact that this Bill clarifies the position as follows:

A mandated person shall not be required to make a report to the Child and Family Agency where a child aged 15 years or more but less than 17 years is engaged in sexual activity with a person who is not more than 2 years older than the child and where the mandated person knows or believes that there is no material difference in capacity or maturity between the two parties, and where the child has made known his or her view that a report should not be made to the Child and Family Agency and where the mandated person relied upon that view.

Treoir will engage with its members to develop a comprehensive response to the Bill. 

Read the Bill here.  Read explanatory memorandum.

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Separating parents and their children

 

Treoir attended the launch on 3rd February 2014 of two informative and useful films for separating parents and their children.  The Ombudsman for Children’s Office and the Courts Service have worked together to develop these two short films about key aspects of family law proceedings in the District Court, and possible alternatives to Court, in particular family mediation.  Read more.

View films here:


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Guardianship for Unmarried Fathers 

 

The recent tragic case of the very ill baby boy born in a Dublin maternity hospital highlights the lack of rights afforded to unmarried fathers.   As the couple in this case were not married, the father was not a guardian on the birth of the child.  Where the parents are not married to each other only the mother is automatically a guardian when the child is born.   The father therefore had no right to make any major decisions regarding his baby.

As a result of this case we have had a number of calls from worried unmarried pregnant women.   If an unmarried pregnant women is concerned she could make a Will appointing the father, or another appropriate person (for example a grandmother) as a Testamentary Guardian. This person would then have the right to make decisions regarding the welfare of the child in the event of her death. See Guardianship.

Normally you must be 18 years old, or married, in order to make a will.  However, a mother under 18 can make a will if it is to appoint a Testamentary Guardian for her child.

For more information see the article written by Margot Doherty, Assistant Chief Executive of Treoir in The Journal.ie.

 

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Single Person Child Carer Credit 

 

From 1st of January 2014, the Single Person Child Carer Credit (SPCCC) replaces the One-Parent Family Credit (OPFC). It operates differently from the One-Parent Family Credit by being available in the first instance to the Primary Claimant – the individual with whom the qualifying child resides for the whole or greater part of the year. 

It is possible for a qualifying Primary Claimant to surrender (relinquish) his or her entitlement to the credit, in favour of another qualifying individual – a Secondary Claimant.

For more information call us on 1890 252 084 or find more information here.

 
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Maintenance of Children - Amendment

 

Following the enactment of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 changes were made to the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976.  It is no longer the case that only six months arrears can be applied for where a parent has fallen behind in payments.  Payment of arrears will be at the discretion of the judge.

For further information see; Part 8, Sec. 31 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011

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CLICK HERE to read our top ten tips on the important information you should consider if you are unmarried and about to be parents

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Contact us today with your questions. LoCall 1890 252 084

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We provide a free, confidential, specialist information service for unmarried parents, living together or apart, their extended families and those working with them. 
Information is available on Legal, Social Welfare and Parenting issues.

"Your Information Pack is a fantastic resource - full of helpful and practical information" - Email from service provider, April 2014

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Watch this video by All Families Matter aimed at raising awareness of the need to recognise all families in the constitution, including unmarried families.  Treoir is part of All Families Matter Campaign and it would be great if you could share this video.

 

  

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