Govt must do more to prevent family breakdown, think-tank says

Policy makers must consider the role of the family when responding to Britain’s most serious social problems, says think-tank The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

Its most recent study shows marital breakdown is connected to homelessness, alcoholism and teen pregnancy.

“The evidence is clear: family breakdown sits as the backdrop to so many broken lives, entrenching individuals in intergenerational cycles of poverty and instability.”

Silent

Entitled ‘Why Family Matters’, the research shows that people who experienced family breakdown, when aged 18 or younger, were more than twice as likely to become homeless.

The evidence is clear: family breakdown sits as the backdrop to so many broken lives, entrenching individuals in intergenerational cycles of poverty and instability.

The Centre for Social Justice

They were twice as likely to be in trouble with the police and almost twice as likely to battle alcoholism or teen pregnancy.

But CSJ researchers said “there is silence from politicians”.

‘Ideological’

The think-tank also highlighted that 83 per cent of British adults believe stronger families are important in addressing social problems.

And almost 70 per cent of divorced people agree that family breakdown is a serious problem and that more should be done to prevent it.

Iain Duncan Smith MP, Chairman of The Centre for Social Justice, said “politicians have become very nervous about talking about family breakdown”.

politicians have become very nervous about talking about family breakdown.

Iain Duncan Smith, MP

“They are almost immediately accused of being ideological for even having a view as to whether it is a bad thing.”

No-fault divorce

Despite this, the UK Government is pushing ahead with its plans for no-fault divorce.

Under the proposals a spouse who is being divorced against their will has no opportunity to contest or slow down the divorce process to allow time for reconciliation.

An official consultation on the proposal saw 83 per cent of respondents oppose the plans.

If it becomes law, divorce proceedings could last just six months.

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