Plans for a new ‘family test’ to be applied to Government policies – which the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) first called for in its original Breakthrough Britain work – have been unveiled.
All Whitehall initiatives will now be measured against the effect they have on the formation of stable families, parenting and caring duties and the risk of breakdown and separation.
The Department for Work and Pensions said it was crucial that all departments understand how policies impact families.
Civil servants will be expected to ask themselves a number of questions while formulating policy at an early stage.
Dr Samantha Callan, the CSJ’s Associate Director for Families, appeared on BBC 5 Live Breakfast where she said the new test would rightly put family policy centre stage in British politics.
In a statement, covered by the Press Association, she added: “We can’t afford for family stability to continue as a political afterthought. I hope the new test will put it at the heart of public policy – where it belongs.”
The questions are:
• What impact will policies have on family formation?
• What impact will policies have on families going through key transitions such as becoming parents, getting married, fostering or adopting, bereavement, redundancy, new caring responsibilities or the onset of a long-term health condition?
• What impact will policies have on all family members' ability to play a full role in family life, including with respect to parenting and other caring responsibilities?
• What impact will policies have on families before, during and after couple separation?
The CSJ is a leading voice on British family policy and has published numerous reports, including: Fractured Families, Supporting Families, Strengthening Marriage, Breakthrough Britain: Family Breakdown and Fully Committed?