A group of UK parliamentarians is calling on government to do more to support healthy family life, asking it to: • Create a Government focused on supporting families. Appoint a cabinet-level minister to ensure family-friendly policies are prioritised and coordinated, and ensure departments carry out Family Impact Assessments.
• Encourage Local Authorities to work with voluntary and business partners to deliver Family Hubs. Government to enable councils to develop hubs offering help to parents with children across age ranges, and relationship support for couples in distress or at risk of separation.
• Promote active fatherhood in a child’s life. Ensure fathers are involved from day one, and maternity services
should review and improve support for fathers. Legal changes mandating fathers to be named on birth certificates should be brought into force.
• Remove financial disincentives for people on low incomes to form lasting couple relationships. Boost the marriage allowance for lower income couples with children, and enable people on Universal Credit entitled to marriage allowance, to receive it automatically. Reduce couple penalties in Universal Credit.
• Use childcare funding to support parenting. Taking part in a weekly Stay and Play session with their two year old child should be a requirement of accepting free childcare if the parent is not in work.
• Promote healthy relationships to tackle the mental health crisis. Ensure children and young people’s mental health services assist families, offer couple counselling where needed, and any child experiencing domestic violence to be offered support.
• Relationship Education supporting stronger families. Relationship education should promote the importance
of commitment with a Government-funded online platform targeted at enabling young people to develop good relationships.
• Help prisons to nurture family support to reduce reoffending. Family and other supportive relationships must be treated as indispensable to the success of government reform aiming to make prisons safer and reduce re-offending.
Source: Christian Concern
Bible Study: Mark 3:23-25
JANUARY PRAISE God for the Manifesto’s emphasis on promoting to young people commitment in relationships. PRAY they will recognise the benefits of long-term commitments.