It has been an extraordinary year for woman in Ireland. It is 100 years since the first woman was elected into the Dáil and on that anniversary the constitution was changed so that woman and girls have access to necessary healthcare in Ireland.
There has been a huge increase in homelessness which hits the most vulnerable in society the hardest. Housing and childcare have always been the most challenging issues for lone parents, with landlords increasing rents and childcare costs, (although there have been positive changes), costs are still increasing. The barriers to education and employment have been snowballing continuously in 2018.
The Doras Buí building is in Coolock, but we have a large geographic catchment area, in which we provide outreach services. Doras Buí has supported lone parent families through these challenges this year as most of our clients are women it was an emotional roller coaster ride. We have very competitive rates for childcare and excellent, qualified childcare staff. We run programmes to help participants with their mental health, parenting skills, and upskilling participants with a view to improving their employment and education opportunities.
Due to harmful media stereotypes lone parent families are often viewed in a negative way. There was a positive change this year with the launch of the research carried out on Unmarried Father’s in Ireland. One of the findings of this research was that shared parenting is a more positive experience for children and families. Doras Buí has a plan in place to engage more unmarried Father’s in 2019 by linking in with local and national agencies.