Another ‘Groundhog Day’ family policy report
 
A national charity is urging Ministers to address the ‘Groundhog Day’ of government inaction that greets the publication of family policy research. But National Family Mediation (NFM) fears the dominance of Brexit in government thinking could simply lead to further stalling.
 
The charity says a recent Social Mobility Commission report, ‘Helping parents to parent’ is just the latest in a string of reports and research over recent years which reach similar conclusions about the need to reform family policy - to bring better outcomes for families and to save taxpayers’ money. 
 
NFM’s Chief Executive Jane Robey says action on report findings are hardly ever acted upon and fears that in light of Brexit, a ‘policy paralysis’ has gripped the government.
 
“Brexit understandably dictates government thinking. But the divorce we face from the EU mustn’t blind Ministers to the wide-ranging benefits of well-managed family divorces in achieving better outcomes for families,” she says in a new article for Huffington Post.
 
“They shouldn’t forget that the sums that stand to be saved in the long-term for the public purse from shrewd investment in the conclusions that keep on coming are eye-watering.”
 
Since taking up her role 13 years ago, she says “there have been several White Papers, backed by expensive research findings and recommendations.  These covered topics as widespread as parental separation, children’s rights, and parents’ responsibilities. Then there was Breakdown Britain and the sequel, Breakthrough Britain. Most recently we had Early Intervention Foundation research funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.”
 
Commenting on The Social Mobility Commission report she adds: “Amongst its 80 pages are some conclusions which, were I not such an old-hand, I might feasibly consider the starting gun to reforming policy-making.
 
“But we knew these things already, so this is another report that has looked at various government research on similar themes, and brought us the usual conclusions.
 
“For me and my fellow relationship professionals, the key question is ‘does this latest report move us forward?’ I fear not. It really is time for Ministers to join up the dots of the various research findings, to see the pattern and act on it.”
 
 
The Social Mobility Commission report, ‘Helping parents to parent’ can be found here
 
 
 

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