At last! The case we have long been making is recognised in government policy. At the present rate, half of children born today will not be living with both their parents by the age of 16. This stark and alarming figure, with all the emotional and financial costs that go with it, is why we believed it was essential to set up the Marriage Foundation as a new national institution for marriage. (Another key figure for us is in the 2001 Census data which shows that 96.8% of all couples that remained intact until their children were 16 were married couples.)
The government has announced in the new Social Justice Outcomes Framework
that the proportion of children who have a stable family free from breakdown, and the proportion of such families that report a good quality relationship, will be a key indicator. The Framework shows that only 45% of 15-year-olds currently live with both their parents. However, if current rates of breakdown for both married and cohabiting couples remain unchanged, we estimate that half of children born today will see their parents separate by their sixteenth birthday. If the government is to achieve its aim of year on year reductions much needs to be done. We hope that our work in promoting marriage and relationships education will play a significant part in enabling this vital goal to be realised.