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Citizens Information share supports available for families

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The International Day of Families is annually held on May 15 and it promotes the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family. It is a day to celebrate your family and what they mean to you.

The importance of this day and what it represents is a great opportunity to highlight some of the information, advice and support Citizens Information can provide to families.

Some of the most common queries they are receiving from families right now are;

Working Family Payment, formerly known as Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. It gives extra financial support to those on a low income. You must be an employee to qualify for it, however those self-employed aren’t eligible to qualify for the payment. You must also have at least one child under the age of 18 who lives with you or is financially supported by you or is aged 18-22 in full-time education.

The Back to Work Family Dividend scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives financial support principally to lone parents and long-term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work. If you qualify you will still get a reduced weekly social welfare payment for up to two years.

If you qualify for either of the two payments above you may be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, which is a scheme that helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. It is open from June 1 until September 30 each year.

One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a payment for men and women under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get this payment you must have at least one relevant child below seven years of age, but there are exceptions to this. You must also meet other conditions and you must satisfy a means test.

Job Seekers Transitional (JST) Payment is a special arrangement under the Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme that aims to support lone parents into the workforce while they have young children. It is available to people who are not cohabiting and whose youngest child is aged between seven and 13 years inclusive.
Many also enquire about leave options for parents which may be available from their employment such as Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Parents leave and Adoptive Leave. Each of these types of leave may also carry a possible social welfare entitlement by way of a paid benefit if certain PRSI requirements are met. Another asset to families is the One-Parent Family Payment, a payment for men and women under the age of 66 who are raising children without the support of a partner.

Another great resource to families is the Child Benefit, which is a monthly payment to the parents or guardians of children under 18, who are in full-time education or training. The payment is universal, which means that your income level and social insurance (PRSI) will not affect whether or not you’re entitled to it.

“International Day of Families is a very important date in the calendar year, it is an occasion to celebrate the importance of families, people, societies and cultures around the world," Frances Clifford, Kerry Citizens Information Manager, said. "Our goal for this day is to let every family know that we are here to advise and support them. So regardless of your query, call your local centre and we will guide you in the right direction.”

For anyone needing information, advice or who have an advocacy issue, they can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively, you can email at tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information and contact details.

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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