Half a million vulnerable families are to receive intensive government support as part of David Cameron’s bid to strengthen family life in Britain.
The prime minister announced the government’s Troubled Families scheme would be extended to include 500,000 families, enabling local authorities to work intensively with more than double the number of families facing problems, such as anti-social behaviour and debt. The budget for relationship counselling has been doubled to £19.5 million.
He also said how council’s, from next month, will be able to apply for the £19m adoption support fund that becomes available next year. The fund is intended to help councils provide families with therapeutic support and comes as adoptions were found to have risen 25% in the last year.
The announcements will support Cameron’s new commitment to put family life at the heart of government policy.
“I think it’s absolutely right that government should do everything possible to help support and strengthen family life in Britain today,” he said. “I want every government department to be held to account for the impact of their policies on the family.
“The reality is that in the past the family hasn’t been central to the way government thinks. So you get a whole load of policy decisions which take no account of the family and sometimes make these things worse – whether it’s the benefits system incentivising couples to live apart or penalising those who go out to work or excessive bureaucracy preventing loving couples from adopting children with no family at all.
“We can’t go on having a government taking decisions like this which ignore the impact on the family,” Cameron said.
As part of his family-focused government, Cameron also announced that all domestic policy will be subject to an impact assessment to gauge the effects on family life.
“Put simply that means every single domestic policy that government comes up with will be examined for its impact on the family,” he said.