x

Join our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular email updates of ResPublica's work, upcoming events and recent blogs from the Disraeli Room.

Placing Family at the Heart of Society

Placing Family at the Heart of Society

About this Workstream

We are increasingly aware of the terrible social consequences of the breakdown of families, both extended and immediate. That the UK has one of the highest rates of family breakdown in the Western world and that the social and economic cost is one we can no longer afford to ignore is evident to those that would look. Family breakdown is damaging to people and society: it drives many of the social problems we see in Britain.


Children growing up in unstable families tend to do worse at school, are more likely to be involved in crime and to live in poverty. It is also very costly for the government and the taxpayer: costing the country up to £46 billion a year. Support structures for disadvantaged families, including parents and children in vulnerable situations, are also severely lacking. What’s more, the current benefit structure is hugely detrimental to working families who are looking to provide for their children and older family members, as benefits are either insufficient or marginal income tax rates disincentivise work. For many, work doesn’t pay – the majority of children who live in poverty in the UK have an employed parent.

We need a political environment and social architecture that puts family at the heart of public services and public policy. As the smallest of our institutions, the ‘household’ represents the governance, care and support of our parents and children, and underpins the structure of the community and the nation. We need institutions and policies that strengthen these relationships, which in turn will increase the strength of community. Marriage and family stability helps to cultivate permanent relationships which can be extended to those within and without the family group who are feeling isolated and lonely. It also tends to produce stable individuals, whose very rootedness renders them strong and adaptable in the face of new challenges and crises. We therefore seek to support people in having children, and through early intervention and holistic through-life and familial care, enable people to care for their children in the best way possible.

Above all we believe that everyone at all levels of society needs to be offered better ways to integrate family with work, so that having and bringing up children is no longer regarded as a private or part-time activity. To this end we should reconsider the restoration of the ‘family wage’, and proper in-home or at-work childcare. In short, we wish to move beyond tired ‘culture wars’ in the field of family policy towards an approach which combines support for families and the neglected needs of children, with gender equality and genuine freedom of choice.

Projects
A new devolved future for Britain’s mid-size cities

The challenge: An unequal and diverging Brexit Britain Britain’s cities and regions face real and growing challenges post-Brexit. It is vital that growth is delivered...

Projects
  • Comments Off on Britain’s Diplomatic Strength: Harnessing soft power in a post-Brexit world
Britain’s Diplomatic Strength: Harnessing soft power in a post-Brexit world

ResPublica, in partnership with the British Council, is undertaking a project on soft power and the vital role of institutions in British foreign policy. Institutions...

Projects
Making social reform work for vulnerable young people

Since taking office, the new Prime Minister’s rhetoric has made clear her determination to help young people from all backgrounds to go as far as...

Credit Emancipation – Report Launch
12th September 2018

Join us at the launch of our new report on Credit Emancipation. In this report we make recommendations to address the problems of unaffordable credit,...

Escape Velocity: Growing Salford’s Creative Economy – Report Launch
14th December 2017

ResPublica is launching its latest report Escape Velocity: Growing Salford’s Creative Economy. The report makes the case for continued Government and private sector investment in...

Heartbeats on the High Street – Community Pharmacy Report Launch
20th November 2017

ResPublica is launching its latest report on Community Pharmacy in which we make the case for community pharmacies as a first port of call in...

Backing Beauty Roundtable
20th July 2016

Held on 20th July 2016 as part of the work of ResPublica’s Backing Beauty Commission, this roundtable focused on how to encourage local authority...

True North 2016: Realising the Northern Powerhouse
8th July 2016

On Friday 8th July, ResPublica’s inaugural North conference Finding True North hosted over 250 leaders from across the North at the beautiful Lowry Theatre, Salford....

The NHS and Social Care: Reducing bed-blocking and financial pressures
1st March 2016

Care Minister Rt Hon. Alistair Burt MP joins Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Older People, Social Care and Carers, to debate the future of...

Ticket to Ride: How high speed rail for Liverpool can help realise the Northern Powerhouse
23rd February 2016

The Liverpool City Region, with its world-class port and logistics facilities, growing business community, and cultural vibrancy, has the potential to drive economic growth at...

Can city-based devolution transform the lives of the least wealthy in society?
5th October 2015

With key speaker: Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society Julia Unwin, Joseph Rowntree Foundation George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol Kindly supported by: ...

A Community Right to Beauty
23rd July 2015

ResPublica is launching its latest report: A Community Right to Beauty: Giving communities the power to shape, enhance and create beautiful places, buildings and spaces....