Family charities call for improvement in new manifesto

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A coalition of 18 charities calling itself the Family Room is challenging the next Government to develop a new family strategy.

stephen-dunmore

Stephen Dunmore

The joint manifesto was launched yesterday at a parliamentary reception in Westminster, London by Family Room, a coalition of 18 charities co-ordinated by the Family and Childcare Trust. In the run-up to the general election, it covers a range of areas associated with family and childcare policy.

Speaking before the launch, Stephen Dunmore, interim chief executive of the Family and Childcare Trust, said, ‘Enabling families to thrive is fundamental to the economic and social health of the UK, and through our joint manifesto, the Family Room is calling on the next Government to put families at the heart of all future policies.’

The manifesto calls for the development of a cross-departmental family strategy involving the education secretary, the health secretary, as well as the work and pensions secretary, to improve family income, stability and wellbeing.

This measure would help families in three main areas:

to balance work and family life, with ‘flexible, affordable and high-quality childcare’ accessible to all parents and carers;

to tackle low pay, calling for more employers to pay the living wage. Parental leave conditions are also addressed;

and provide access to relationship support to all families, regardless of their income, ‘in times of particular stress and change.'

‘All families should be supported to tackle their problems before those problems become crises,’ the document said.

The reception was co-hosted by MPs Andrew Stephenson, Annette Brooke and Alex Cunningham.

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