Families with children want better facilities for young people
such as youth clubs more than any other local improvement,
according to research for the government.
Families of all types, across all income groups, demanded better
youth provision. It was rated as more important than crime or drugs
reduction, job opportunities, schools, sports facilities or low
The findings have emerged in the new Families and Children in
Britain report from the Department for Work and Pensions, based on
a large scale longitudinal study.
Other findings include:
• The parent of one child in 10 has been contacted by their
child’s school because of behavioural problems, suspension or
exclusion. Children in lone parent families experienced this more
than couple families – 14 per cent compared to 9 per
• Fourteen per cent of children age 11 to 15 had spent no
time socialising with friends during the previous week. Those most
likely to have spent no time with friends were children in couple
families where both were working less than 15 hours a week.
• Under 30 per cent of mothers with children aged 13 to 18
were aware that there was a Connexions service in their area. Those
with the highest income were most likely to know about it, and most
likely to say they had been in contact with Connexions. Of those
who knew their child had been in contact with Connexions, 59 per
cent were satisfied with the service they received.
• One in 10 primary school pupils and more than one in four
secondary school pupils aged under 16 travel more than three miles
to school. Less than half of all children travel to school on foot
or by bicycle. 29 per cent travel by car or van.
• Mothers in workless households were much more likely to
have smoked when pregnant than others. Mothers in lone parent
families who were working less than 16 hours a week, and mothers in
couple families where both partners were working less than 16 hours
a week, were about twice as likely to have smoked throughout
pregnancy than mothers in other types of family.
• Mothers in couple families are twice as likely to drink
every day as lone parent mothers.