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More Effort Required in Tackling Family Breakdown

Think-tank the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has called on whatever Government is next in power to become the first in history to reverse family breakdown and confront a growing culture of disposable dads.

In a new report, the CSJ predicts that by the end of the next Parliament almost half of those sitting GCSEs will come from broken homes. It adds that one million children also lose contact with their grandparents as a result of separation or divorce.

Researchers say crucial relationship support is either often not available or couples don’t know where to find it.

The CSJ wants to see the nationwide roll-out of “Family Hubs”, which would include relationship support, birth registrations, ante and post-natal services and places where families could get advice on issues like employment and debt.

This new vision, replacing Sure Start Children’s Centres, would put vital services under one roof and at the heart of communities.

This will be especially beneficial in poorer areas where levels of family breakdown are higher. By the age of five, 48% of children in low-income households are not living with both parents, according to Government data.

The report calls on the Government to do all it can to get behind marriage, and to send a positive signal it says registration office fees of £70 for marriage should be scrapped for couples who attend preparation courses.

In addition, the CSJ believes that laws which mean a mother’s approval is needed for an unmarried father to be named on a birth certificate send out a signal that dads are less important. Crucially this law also strips unmarried fathers of legal and parental rights. The report therefore calls for dads to be given the right to be named on certificates.

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