SUMMER eBulletin 2020

SUMMER eBulletin 2020

In this issue:

   Treoir – National Information Service

Our information service remains fully operational

Call us today with your questions at 
01 6700 120, request a ‘callback‘ or visit
www.treoir.ie

www.facebook.com/treoirOur information service remains open but as a response to COVID-19 recommendations to the public, we have suspended our drop-in service. For now and until further notice if you have any queries, call our confidential helpline on 01 6700120, email us at info@treoir.ie, or log your query on our website here to request a callback, or you can still message us through our Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Our opening hours are:

Monday – Friday: 10 am – 4 pm excluding Bank Holidays

We help parents who are not married to each other better understand complex family law issues, particularly in relation to their children, such as access and custody, maintenance, and guardianship. We also promote shared parenting and provide parenting tips to help parents develop good parenting relationships.

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  Covid-19 Information for Parents and Practitioners

Our Covid-19 information page on our website contains information regarding social protection, family law and the court service, domestic violence services, birth registration, shared parenting and access arrangements, useful resources for parents, and updates about our service.

All information relating to COVID19 will be updated on our COVID19 information page on our website on an ongoing basis which you can access HERE 

Stay safe, be well!

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 Treoir Outreach and Services 2020
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TREOIR OUTREACH AND TRAINING INFORMATION SERVICES  

Treoir provides free information workshops to groups of workers who provide services to unmarried parents and to groups of unmarried parents. 

The aim of the workshop is to provide accurate and up-to-date information in relation to the legal rights and responsibilities of parents who are not married to each other. 

The workshop provides information in relation to guardianship, access, custody, maintenance, passports, shared parenting, birth registration, cohabitation, unmarried fathers, grandparents, and relatives. 


The workshops will be delivered in line with Covid-19 protocols.


WORKSHOPS ARE TAILORED TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL GROUPS!


FOR INFORMATION ON TREOIR WORKSHOPS CONTACT:

VERONICA BLACK – INFORMATION & TRAINING OFFICER 

veronica@treoir.ie

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 Policy Development
Policy Report – Summer 2020

Due to Covid-19 the past three months have been extremely challenging for parents and children, and especially for that parent alone. It has also been a very difficult time for the state and its institutions as key public services such as health care, transport, housing, the courts, etc., came under new and additional pressures. Indeed most of us have never lived through something as unexpected and unusual as a deadly pandemic. This unprecedented occurrence has required us to change how we live our lives and in terms of the policy to be pro-active, innovative, and to work more collaboratively with NGOs, state agencies, government departments, and relevant agencies.

Covid-19 forced the state to introduce some extraordinary measures. The economy was essentially shut down, emergency payments were introduced for workers and employers, the family courts ceased to function and were reduced to hearing applications in relation to domestic violence and other issues deemed exceptional and public life all but ceased. In terms of unmarried parents, the lockdown had a particular impact on access and custody arrangements, on maintenance payments, and on levels of domestic abuse within the home and online. As all but essential movement was curtailed we saw increased pressure on one-parent families in terms of food poverty, education, isolation, and mental health during the lockdown.

Throughout this time Treoir sat on a number of working groups with organisation like Women’s Aid, Safe Ireland, and others on the impact of domestic violence on women and children during Covid-19. We attended on-line meetings of the Legal Aid Board working group, the Lone Parents Coalition, the Community Platform, and policy seminars and briefings from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection – to mention just a few. We wrote to the Ministers for Health and Justice, to the Garda Commissioner and to the CEO of An Post around issues to do with access, travel, court orders, shopping, and the movement of children. We worked with groups on submissions to government on social welfare payments, childcare, domestic violence, and poverty, as they relate to lone/ unmarried parents.

An important piece of work was carried out on guardianship rights for unmarried parents. A draft document was produced and submitted to Treoir’s Policy-Working Group before its submission to the board. Going forward the work of the afore-mentioned group is of critical importance in shaping Treoir’s policy across a variety of issues to do with family law, reform of the maintenance system, and access to legal aid. In the months ahead it is expected there will be increased pressure on government resources.  As always, Treoir will continue to lobby and advocate for the rights of unmarried parents; for an end to discrimination and child poverty; for greater resources and access to key public services, and for reform of the family law system.  If you have questions about any of the above or if there is a policy issue you or your organisation feel should be highlighted please contact me at mary@treoir.ie.

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 In our community
Sligo College of Further Education Community Development (Level 6)
  • You can contact the Information team at Treoir by email at info@treoir.ie or call our confidential helpline 01 670 0120, we also offer a drop-in service at our premises at 28 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1, Mon-Fri 10:00am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm
  • For parenting courses offered nationwide see Barnardos.ie
  • ParentStop offer Parenting Plus and parenting when separated courses in the Donegal region
  • One Family offer Parenting Supports online and face-to-face
  • AnyMan, formerly Amen, support men who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence, and offer Parents Plus “Parenting When Separated” courses.
  • Aware offers free-of-charge Life Skills Programmes online and group programmes to support people who are experiencing stress or anxiety.
  • Family mediation services are currently available through local District Courts located in Dublin (Dolphin House), Naas, Carlow, Ennis, Nenagh, Clonmel, Limerick City, Cork City and Tralee.  Check with your local district court for availability.
  • Health Services Executive (HSE) offer information and support when experiencing an unplanned pregnant. Access their website here for further information

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 In the spotlight

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NEW ‘Statutory Guardianship’ Form

Treoir welcomes the introduction of a NEW ‘Statutory Declaration’ form for joint Guardianship of a child which facilitates same-sex parents. You can download this form here. The new S.I. No. 210, 2020 reflects recent changes to the Civil Registration Act 2015 by adding important amendments to the form, facilitating the naming of ‘parents’ as opposed to ‘mother and father’.

Temporary Guardianship

Nominating a Temporary Guardian is very important where there is only one guardian of a child. This has really been brought to light since the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic where parents have been hospitalised by the virus, or where frontline workers were at greater risk.

Currently, and for some time ahead, the Courts are only accepting applications for breaches of access and maintenance during COVID19, domestic violence applications, AND Temporary Guardianship applications.

Read about Temporary Guardianship below.

A qualifying guardian* may nominate a person (nomination form) to act as a guardian if he/she is unable, through serious illness or injury, to exercise his/her guardianship rights.  The nomination must be made in writing and can specify the rights and responsibilities that the nominated person can exercise.  The nominated person must then apply to the court for guardianship rights when and if necessary.  Each guardian, parent, and TUSLA the Child and Family Agency will be informed of such an application.  The decision of the court will be made in the best interests of the child and may take the views of the child into account where possible given the child’s age and understanding.

*A qualifying guardian, in relation to a child, means a person who is a guardian of that child and who:

  • is the parent of the child and has custody of him/her, or
  • not being the parent of the child, has custody of him or her to the exclusion of any living parent of the child.
PassportsGiven that we have been informed about current ‘Green List’ countries, parents may be thinking about traveling abroad with their children and may need to apply for passports.

Here are a few FAQs regarding passports and guardianship

Whose consent is required for a passport?
When two parents never married, only the mother is required to sign the 
Passport Application Form if she is the sole guardian of her child.   This applies even if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate.  In order to get a passport for her child, the mother will have to sign the Sole Guardian Affidavit Form. This form will satisfy the Passport Office who must ensure the Mother is in fact the Sole Guardian. Download Sole Guardian Affidavit Form (AFF1).  

Alternatively, instead of the mother having to swear the above affidavit, if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate, both parents can sign the passport application even though the father is not a joint guardian of the child.

NOTE: It is worth noting here, that if a Father has been living with the Mother for 12 months, and at least 3 months with the child, then he is an automatic Guardian, therefore his signature is required for passport applications for his child.

What if a child has more than one Guardian?

Where a child has 2 guardians the signature of each guardian is required on the Passport Application Form (APS 1E) before a passport will be issued.

Where a child has more than 2 guardians, the signatures of no more than two guardians are required on the Passport Application Form (APS 1E) before a passport will be issued.

Where a guardian refuses to sign the Passport Application Form then the parent/guardian seeking the passport may apply to the local District Court to have that other guardian’s consent dispensed with.

Do I need proof of consent to travel abroad with my child?

It can be useful for a parent to carry a letter from the child’s other parent/guardian giving his/her consent to the child traveling abroad so that there is no misunderstanding.  This letter could be signed and witnessed by a commissioner for oaths.  This may be particularly relevant when you and your child have different surnames.  You could also check with the embassy of the country to which you intend to travel to find out if that country has any special requirements when traveling with a child.


If living in Dublin: contact the Family Law Division of the District Court.

If living outside Dublin: contact your local District Court.

Passport forms are available from the passport office, Garda stations, most post offices, and many Citizen Information Centres and libraries.

We hope you find this information useful! 
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 Topical Issues
Department of Children and Youth Affairs – members concerns and Treoir’s response

Ahead of the announced dismantling of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, we asked our members to express concerns, if any, and to what suggestions they may have for the remit of a new department for children. We received an excellent response which has been summarised below:

  • 94% of members who expressed concerns felt that a dedicated Ministerial post was vital to ensuring the protection of children and young people
  • When asked about the best structure in Government to ensure the best interest of children and young people:
  • – 75% wanted to retain the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with Ministerial post and Oireachtas Committee for Children and Youth Affairs
  • – 18.8  wanted the formation of an Oireachtas Committee for Children and Youth Affairs which makes recommendations to relevant Ministerial departments
  • – 6.2  felt that a Dedicated Ministerial post for Children and Youth Affairs was sufficient
  • When asked if a Dedicated Minister for Children and Youth Affairs should have a full cabinet seat, 94% agreed.
  • Other concerns expressed focused on the extra resources needed to develop a new department or restructure an existing one, would inevitably lead to reduced resources where they are needed for essential services in child protection and services.
  • There were huge concerns regarding the proposal to merge DCYA with the Department of Education, especially were childcare services are concerned, the main issue for our members is that childcare is about ‘care’ and not ‘education’.
  • Members were generally very concerned about the prospect of any restructuring or development, feeling that this department needs to be reviewed but anxious that current under-resourced services would be further impacted by any refocusing.  Additionally, members expressed concerns about the lack of wrap-a-round service models mentioned in any proposals and the exclusion of models that are currently in place and working well.

Treoir wrote to the relevant departments to express our concerns and those of our members. We will continue to gathers our members’ views and monitor the development of the newly announced Department of Children in the coming months.

Department of Social Protection and Rural Affairs Pre-Budget submission – members input

Treoir writes an annual pre-budget submission to the Department of Social Protection. Although many of our members make a submission themselves, we wanted to gather feedback from our members for inclusion in our own submission.

The majority of our members are concerned about a loss of income, food poverty, childcare costs, and housing issues. Of particular concern is the loss of the PUP payment for lone parents who cannot access childcare. All members also feel there should be a minimum standard of income, with welfare payment rates reflecting such a standard.

Treoir attended the Department of Social Protection forum at Dublin Castle on 30th July where we asked various questions regarding the retention of PUP for lone parents. Minister for the Department, TD Heather Humphreys, responded by assuring us that parents who cannot return to work due to childcare issues will retain PUP but also mentioned that the Department is hoping employers will be flexible for those parents by allowing them to adjust their hours.

Treoir will continue to monitor the situation in the coming months and raise any concerns expressed by our members and parents.

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 Members corner

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MEMBERS! This is your space to share information about your work and your service!


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COVID-19 Crisis Supportline

Barnardos are still operating their supportline for parents, guardians, and carers who need information and support during this pandemic.

Supports and Training

Barnardos have a range of supports in place for parents, guardians, and carers covering information and educational supports around early years training, child protection, and the rights of the child.

Check out Barnardos tip sheet for parents, to support their child emotionally as they return to early learning and care

Barnardos TrainingOnline registration is open for Barnardos Children First and Designated Liaison Person Training Webinars in June and July.

 

The Key Person Approach
For those who missed it, a recording of our free webinar The Key Person Approach: Supporting Relationships in the Early Years Settings is now available.
Learning Environments
Our free elearning course An Introduction to Learning Environments is still available.

 

Rights of the Child

Our new free elearning course The Rights of the Child in Early Learning and Care, is now available on our website.

Download our information leaflet HERE

From Lads to Dads (FLTD)
FLTD is a community-based charity, we aim to support and guide fathers of all ages throughout their parental journey from Paternity to Birth and beyond. We aim to help and guide them through this amazing but often challenging journey into parenthood, with this guidance and support we enable each father to become positive, active, influential role models in the lives of their children. We work with men who are due to become or already have become fathers. We do this by engaging in an open and honest discussion and build a specific tailor-made support programme to best suit their circumstances. We are based in South Dublin primary; however, the sessions are also mobile depending on the location and requirements of the clients.  From Lads to Dads is a service that offers support to fathers from Paternity to Birth. Beyond, we do this in a variety of ways, once we have been contracted to work with or help a young dad we then Sit down with the young man and carry out a questionnaire with them, put them at ease by explaining that FLTD is here to help and support them on this fantastic journey into parenthood, this is a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space for dads to feel safe and supported where we can find out how there are feeling, and what is going on with them and their areas of concern, what they are feeling and how FLTD can best support them, and how we can build a programme a specific tailor-made plan around their particular needs,  or link them in with additional services, a full wrap-around service.

We are contacted in a variety of ways, through contact by the father, through a family member. Additional service in the area, the key to the success of FLTD is early intervention for young fathers, putting them at ease and supporting them through the fear, concern, confusion, and the ‘unknown’ when you find out you are going to become a father at an early age.

Dads benefit from the programme in many different ways. They are fully supported in their journey into parenthood, their worries and fears are alleviated, they are given the tools and skillsets to be the best fathers and role model they can be for their children, while also being linked to additional services such as children development courses, infant massage, designed for parents to learn about child development up to age six, This benefits the family as a whole and will have an impact on generations to come, as a father who is striving to be a positive active role model in the lives of his children and having the skill set, and supports to be the best father he can be will benefit the whole family.

We are based in South Dublin primarily, but the sessions are also mobile depending on the location and requirements of the clients.

Exciting news

Some exciting news for From Lads to Dads, we received news recently from the Charities regulator with regards to our application for charity status, it has been granted, needless to say, we are delighted and this has been one of our main priorities since 2019.

Instagram @Fromladstodads FB @fromladstodads

Phone 085-1835953

email Fromladstodads18@gmail.com

Quarryvale Family Resource Centre Summer 2020

Download information leaflet HERE

Our buildings are be closed but we are still here! Instead of meeting face-to-face we have several activities and groups on-line. Why not join us? We also provide a range of support services via the phone and the internet. ************************************************************************************
Gardening course Knitting and Crocheting Laughter Yoga Mindfulness Over 55s T’ai Chi WRAP Café Yoga Please contact Susan on Susan@quarryvalefrc.ie or 085 202 0228 (not Wednesdays and Fridays)
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Arts & Crafts Bingo Quiz Please contact Deborah on familysupport@quarryvalefrc.ie or 087 375 0009
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Childcare Services Please contact Cathriona on honeybears@quarryvalefrc.ie ************************************************************************************
Parenting Advice Family Support Please contact Deborah on familysupport@quarryvalefrc.ie or 087 375 0009
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Adult Therapy Children’s Therapy Art Therapy Counselling Emergency food supply from Clondalkin Helping Homeless and Those in Need Please contact Karin on manager@quarryvalefrc.ie or 085 202 0300 ************************************************************************************
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/quarryvalefrc/

 MEMBERSHIP

Membership Benefits - The SABSA Institute - Become a Member
If you would like to become a member of Treoir contact Sam Dunne
sam@treoir.ie 
or visit our Membership page HERE
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If you would like to add anything of interest to Members Corner, in our Autum Edition, please send your contributions to sam@treoir.ie before 30 September 2019.

We look forward to reading your contributions!
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this eBulletin is accurate, no responsibility can be accepted by Treoir for any error or omission.
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