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Crisis planning around #Coronavirusireland needs to include provisions for lone parent families. The lack of consideration for our families during #StormEmma put families at risk. Lessons need to have been learned with recognition of the financial vulnerability of our families.
Many of our families do not have the financial means to get through self isolation. Lone parents on social welfare must collect payments from post office. Many working lone parents on part time contracts don't get sick pay or wouldn't be covered to care for kids if schools close.
It is v.positive to see increase in sick pay for self isolation but for those who can't leave house to apply or wait for back dated payments, they could be left without money/ food/essential goods. Many of our families are on payg meters and there is a real risk of losing power
During #StormEmma schools closed on Weds. to keep children safe indoors but no thought was made to lone parents who couldn't collect social welfare until Thursday. They had to choose between taking children out in conditions considered unsafe or chance going without money.
We know during #StormEmma families on gas meters where without heat when they couldn't put in tokens. Parents where trapped in homes when they couldn't leave children alone and couldn't risk taking them out. This time threat is greater as risk taking exposes all in communities.
During self isolation, people need to have the financial means to ensure the safety of themselves, their children and society. Parents shouldn't be forced into risk taking to ensure they have food on the table and heating and electricity.
Without proper contingency plans, parents may be forced out of social isolation to collect social welfare or apply for a payment. This is a potential weak link that needs consideration. We are all in this together and if we aren't all protected, we all will be at greater risk
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