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Departments: Families

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to support (a) families and (b) marriage through his policies; and if he will make a statement. (154712)

We know from evidence that parenting and the quality of adult relationships in families are primary factors in improving children's outcomes; and family and relationship support are an integral part of DCSF family policy and vision. ‘Every Parent Matters’ and ‘Aiming High for Children: Supporting Families’ (both published in March 2007) signal our intent to continue to support families through our policies. This has been reinforced by the new Machinery of Government changes putting families in the title of the Department for the first time, moving us beyond arbitrary distinctions between services for children and adults. We are looking at how we should champion families across Government.

We recognise that the traditional family structure has evolved and not all children are born to parents who are married or are raised in a two-parent family, Emerging family policy recognises the personal choices of people in their family lives, and seeks to support and strengthen the relationships they choose to make. We continue to work in partnership with the third sector to deliver our policies and provide high quality services for families.