Family Matters

In this report the compilers and consultants have drawn together a large number of the most recent studies and compared and analysed the findings in the studies. Each of these studies has looked at a particular aspect of the family and provided important data on the subject. This report uses that data to provide a holistic view of the family in Britain at the end of the century. each of the studies provides a piece of the jig-saw and this report attempts to bring together the pieces to form a more complete picture.

This is an appropriate time to undertake such an exercise since the family in Britain has been under-going rapid and radical changes over the past thirty years. Sufficient detailed information  is now available to enable us to look back at the changes which have occurred, assess their outcomes and analyse the trends. These trends provide important indicators of the future of society in Britain as we prepare to enter the new millennium.

The large number of separations and divorces which have occured during the past thirty years is a unique phenomenon in British social history. Behind the statistics lie the human lives involved and an immense amount of personal suffering, broken dreams and lives permanently damaged. Many of those in broken relationships, especially the children, are innocent victims of disputes which were not of their own making and conflict into which they were unwillingly drawn.

The end of the century gives an opportunity to look back and trace the path of social change which has led to the present situation. As we approach the twenty-first century this gives the opportunity to assess the direction we are taking in the family life of the nation. This enables the formulation of policies of creative soical change to promote the health and well-being of future generations in the nation.

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