Voluntary organisations have come together to lobby for more emphasis on family services and prevent children’s and adults’ services competing for cash in next year’s spending review.
Caroline Abrahams, head of public policy at one of the organisations, children’s charity NCH, warned against the children’s and adults’ lobbies being “played off against each other”.
The family policy forum, which also includes the National Family and Parenting Institute, Grandparents Plus and the Family Welfare Association, aims to persuade the government to focus on the family as a whole rather than children and adults separately.
Mary MacLeod, chief executive of the National Family and Parenting Institute, said: “We have brought together a group of family organisations to see whether we can work in a more focused way on family policy because we feel there is a need to be more joined up and to help government to be more joined up.”
MacLeod added that research had discerned a gap between services for some adults and services for children, resulting in, for example, a lack of parenting support for disabled people.
Abrahams was concerned that the Every Child Matters agenda could be pushed down councils’ lists of priorities as a result of last month’s health and social care white paper.
She said that, although she did not think that the government wanted local authorities to prioritise adult social care, this could happen due to the councils being overloaded with responsibilities.