By Philippa Stroud
Listening to the Queen's Speech was a moment I will always remember.
As The Queen spoke the words, 'My Government will use the opportunity of a strengthening economy to increase the Life Chances of the most disadvantaged,' I thought back to all the people we had met up and down the country in our poorest communities saying, 'can’t you do something to change things for the next generation.'
I thought of a woman on a Glasgow housing estate who had asked us to provide proper rehabilitation for addicts. I thought of the teenager who had been in and out of a youth offending institution internally screaming 'I just want to know who my father is,' and I thought of the children longing for a 'forever family' to know that the foster parents they are with can, at last, adopt them.
This Queen's Speech has the potential to make this happen and the CSJ welcomes it whole heartedly.
The Life Chances agenda needs to be measured properly
However as I listened to the speech I was also filled with memories of being in Government and how hard it is to actually drive reform.
I urge the Government to have a laser like focus and utter determination not to see our disadvantaged communities sold short.
As I have said before in this column, the approach will be strong if it matches the scale of the challenge we are facing with the boldness of the solutions and appropriate accountability to drive this life changing agenda forward.
We need bold solutions to challenging problems and we need robust metrics that call us to account for how we care for vulnerable people – then we can say we have delivered 'an all-out assault' on poverty.
The Centre for Social Justice published a set of Life Chance metrics earlier this year. To see these proposed metrics click here: