Responding to the release of the Social Justice Strategy paper, John Loughton, Head of Public Policy at Relate, said:
“Relate welcomes many of the measures in today’s Social Justice paper from the Department for Work and Pensions. We fully support government taking a more preventative approach to supporting families and we believe that early intervention is key to helping build stable relationships in society.
“However, focusing on the quality of our relationships, not status, is vital in order to improve the life outcomes of children and tackle family breakdown, which costs the UK £42 billion a year*.
Evidence consistently shows that a quality, committed and stable relationship – regardless of relationship status - is best for everyone, particularly in providing the best start for children.
“The focus should not be on simply seeing marriage as a “golden bullet” solution, but rather on ensuring that family relationships, in all forms, are supported to enshrine stability and wellbeing across society.
“This should not be a debate about stigmatising unmarried or single parent families, but supporting and empowering all families to provide every child with the best start in life, and enabling every couple to have a positive and healthy relationship.”
*Relationship Foundation, The cost of breakdown, 2011
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Notes to editors:
- Relate’s vision is a future in which healthy relationships form the heart of a thriving society Relate’s services extend beyond couple counselling to family counselling, counselling for young people, online counselling, sex therapy and informal workshops
- Relate works in schools, primary care settings, prisons, and Children’s Centres
- Relate supports 150,000 people each year in over 600 locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Relate has a work-force of 2,000 people nationwide