Keeping families together

Keeping families together

David Cameron (Photo credit: Andrew Parsons)

Friday, December 10 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech setting out his views on why keeping families together must be a priority.

Speaking at the Charity 'Relate' to 'Kids in the Middle', a coalition of 30 charities and 25 agony aunts who support children experiencing conflict at home, the Prime Minister pledged £7.5 million a year that would help such organisations in supporting relationships and offered them Government buildings after hours so that they could cut their waiting lists.

The announcements came as soaring divorce rates place the traditional family unit under threat and one in three of today's kids experience the break-up of their parents' relationship.

"As I've always said, families are immeasurably important," he said.

"And when I talk about families, I don't just mean the married with two children model.

"To me, a strong family is defined not by its shape, but by the love and support that's in it - and we need to be there for all of them."

During the speech, the Prime Minister detailed a range of measures being implemented across Government that will strengthen the institution of the family. These included the Universal Credit, consulting on a system of flexible parental leave, to enable mothers and fathers to share childcare during the first year and increasing the number of Sure Start visitors by 4,200, while re-orienting them from an exclusive maternal-child focus to one where they support the whole family.

He also explained other measures that will help to ensure children grew into responsible citizens such as improving discipline in schools and developing the National Citizens Service.

"Research carried out earlier this year found that only six percent of families agreed that Britain was very family-friendly. Turning this situation round and convincing the other ninety-four percent is going to take one of the biggest changes in our national culture for decades."

"But together - business, media, the voluntary sector, communities, and yes government - we can do it."