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Strong relationships are necessary for a thriving society

Leading relationship charities have joined forces to create an alliance which aims to put strong and stable relationships at the heart of a thriving society. The Relationships Alliance, comprising of Relate, Marriage Care, the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and OnePlusOne, recently had its official launch in the House of Commons.

Relationship breakdown will cost the UK economy almost £50 billion in 2013, with poor relationship quality leading to family breakdown costing each tax payer an estimated £1,470 per year.

Speaking at the launch, Edward Timpson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, said:

“I believe that strong and stable families are the backbone of a strong and stable society; the key to making sure children grow up in a loving environment and develop into healthy and fulfilled adults. And we know all too well the consequences for families, and children in particular, when that stability and strength is lacking.”

The Alliance has made four recommendations which it says will help to place relationships centre stage in Government policy:

  • Government should bring forward a new and comprehensive cross-government couple, family and social relationships strategy.
  • Government should require local authorities to publish a dedicated relationships strategy so that couple, family and social relationships become established as a core responsibility of local government.
  • Directors of Public Health should be required to measure the quality of couple, family and social relationships.
  • Services designed to help people at life transition points such as getting married, becoming a parent, becoming a carer, retiring or being bereaved should include a focus on couple, family and social relationships, their impact on wellbeing, how to maintain relationship quality and how to manage conflict.

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