Next Prime Minister to put Families First

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Ministers have been urged to put the family at the centre of policymaking. The children’s commissioner for England says, “investing in the family is the greatest investment you can make”. Dame Rachel de Souza has called on the incoming Conservative leader’s administration to “prioritise” putting families “at the heart” of policymaking as outlined in the government-commissioned family review.

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In her introduction to the review, De Souza said she turned to families across the UK and England to find out “what family means to them”. The study warns that gaps in official data fail to capture how many children live in lone-parent or grandparent-led households.

 

“Families are the bedrock of society, and we know that investing in the family is the single greatest investment you can make,” De Souza said. “We also know that when families are strong, society does better.

 

“So I am calling on the new government to prioritise putting families at the heart of policymaking. This means making decisions with families, not for them, and recognising that no one size fits all – we must tailor our approach to different family types.

 

“The government has an opportunity to show real leadership on this issue, and I hope they seize it with both hands.”

 

De Souza said the review, published on Monday, would be a “beacon” for other countries looking to support families.

 

In addition, the report urges the government to invest in evidence-based policies that recognise the “full diversity” of families in England and address inequalities in family support.

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The study also highlights some areas where progress has been made, such as the recent introduction of 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three- and four-year-olds.

 

According to the review, there is significant variation in access to services for families around the country, with some areas offering much more support than others.

 

The study notes that while most parents said they were satisfied with their family life, a “significant minority” reported feeling stressed and anxious about their situation.

 

Lone parents were more likely to report negative emotions, with nearly half saying they felt isolated, compared with just over a quarter of parents in two-parent households.

 

The study also found that mothers are still shouldering the majority of childcare responsibilities, even when both parents are working.

 

Dame Rachel de Souza said: “Families are the bedrock of society, and we know that investing in the family is the single greatest investment you can make.”

 

The Department commissioned the review for Education in July 2018. It is based on interviews with more than 1,000 parents and grandparents and focuses on groups with families from different backgrounds.

 

In addition, the report urges the government to invest in evidence-based policies that recognise the “full diversity” of families in England and address inequalities in family support.

 

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

 

Ministers have been urged to put the family at the centre of policymaking. The children’s commissioner for England says, “investing in the family is the greatest investment you can make”. Dame Rachel de Souza has called on the incoming Conservative leader’s administration to “prioritise” putting families “at the heart” of policymaking as outlined in the government-commissioned family review.

Join the UK's #1 IPGCE at Derby