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'How will the coalition newly-weds address family policy?'

Screen shot 2010-05-18 at 20.11.05 The title of this entry is a pertinent question raised by the Cambridge-based Relationships Foundation.

Noting that the family wasn't even mentioned in the first coalition document - but a whole page was dedicated to the environment - the RF challenges Mr Cameron to substantiate his rhetoric on the family.

In a press statement it says:

"While there is merit in refocusing the former DCFS on its original role as the Department for Education, losing Family from any Cabinet minister’s primary responsibility is a strange act, given the Conservative manifesto pledge to make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe. (The DfE website defines its role as ‘responsible for education and children’s services’, with the only formal responsibility for families disclosed so far delegated to junior ministers.) But there needs to be top-level leadership on the family and there is much to recommend the view that family policy should have a central role in government, based perhaps at the Cabinet Office, rather than with one of the spending departments."

David Willetts co-ordinated family policy in opposition but that responsibility has been passed to Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather in government.

The RF has argued that family policy cannot be the responsibility of one or even a few ministers. Instead, in a paper published in March the Relationships Foundation called for government to introduce a system of family impact statements across Whitehall so that every department considered how policy changes might weaken or strengthen family life.


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