The Prime Minister David Cameron has set out a number of new measures to help families, including helping new parents, supporting couples to stay together and addressing the underlying causes of family breakdown.
In addition, he has made a new commitment to ensure that promoting family life is placed at the very heart of Government decision-making.
As part of these new measures, tens of thousands of couples will benefit from relationship counselling, with the annual budget doubled to £19.5 million. New parents will get extra help in ante-natal classes and more advice from health visitors once the baby has arrived.
More than 500,000 families will now receive help via a programme to support families facing multiple problems, such as unemployment, anti-social behaviour, debt and truancy. The programme expands from its current focus on 120,000 families, with work starting immediately in over 50 council areas before spreading across the country.
The new measures also aim to help more children find a family through adoption. Recently released figures show that the number of adoptions rose by 25% in the last year, thanks to an increase in financial support to councils and voluntary groups and a faster adoption process. The time it takes to adopt has reduced for the first time ever.
The Government intends to go further, and from next month councils will be able will apply to a £19 million national Adoption Support Fund. Any school child adopted from care will benefit from an extra £1900 of additional pupil premium money.
A family test on all Government policies will be formally introduced into impact assessments from this autumn. It will see every single domestic policy examined for its impact on the family. Policies that fail to support family life will not be allowed to proceed.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.
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