A new study done in the United Kingdom shows that 44% of the children born during 2000-2001, which means are just now into adulthood, “did not live with their biological parents throughout their childhood.”
It is Christian Concern that has highlighted the results of an Independent Family Review that was released by the nation’s Children’s Commissioner.
The study was commissioned by Kemi Badenoch, MP, when she was communities minister.
Christian Concern noted that number, and said, “That’s a huge portion of children who have experienced the damaging effects of family instability. Surely this is something we should work to reduce?”
The study also said 23% of U.K. families are single parents, 10% higher than the European average of 13%.
“In the vast majority of U.K. cases, these lone parent families are caused by relationship breakdown between the parents,” the report said. “Why is the U.K. so bad? The lack of government support for family is surely a significant factor. Family breakdown is damaging for society. It harms the children and often results in poverty.”
It revealed lone parent families are more likely to have financial problems, and in 2020, 49% of children living with a single parent were in relative poverty, compared to 25% of children living in married families.
Socio-economic status also correlated with the number of single parents.
“Amongst those with the lowest three categories of socio-economic status, the lone parent rate varies between 28% and 30%. Once you get to the highest socio-economic status, the portion of lone parents declines to 10%. Why would this be? The real question is the extent to which socio-economic status causes family breakdown, or is an effect of family breakdown. We have seen that lone parents are more likely to struggle financially, so perhaps it is no surprise that amongst the lower socio-economic groups there are higher proportions of lone parents?” the report said.
Employed mothers also have risen from 67% in 2002 to 76% in 2021, indicating more and more need the work to properly support their family.
Explained Christian Concern: “The review has some strong words about the importance of family.”
“The Children’s Commissioner’s Family Review has confirmed how important families are to children’s outcomes. When they are working well, they are a source of strength, protection and love that allows their members to flourish, even in adversity.”
“Government should therefore be unashamed about wanting to support and strengthen families.”
“Government should pursue a positive vision for family life, with a clear objective for all families to be loving, supportive and prosperous.”
The study’s conclusion?
“In the U.K. today, family has absolute primacy. Family, and its importance, is the unifying factor. It matters to everyone, across geographic, ethnic, and socio-economic lines. There is little that correlates more with a child’s happiness than how happy they are with their family. Little that better predicts their outcomes and chances of success. For children to grow up to be adults that are happy, healthy and contribute to society, there is nothing more important to focus on than family.”
Christian Concern added, “Sadly, for too long, the government has done little or nothing to promote or support families. In fact, it has done the opposite, finding time in the coronavirus crisis to pass legislation for ‘no-fault divorce. This means enabling one partner to unilaterally destroy the family. The promotion of alternative family structures and of sexual immorality in society, and most especially in schools to young children, is only working against creating a culture that respects and encourages family.”
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