More Children Living With Both Birth Parents

FamilyThe government has announced that more children are living with both birth parents.

The new figures show that 69 percent of children lived with both their mother and father in 2012. This is a 2 percent rise from the year before.

The figures feature in the Social Justice Outcomes Framework: Family Stability Indicator, a report issued as part of the government’s ‘Social Justice Strategy’, a package of measures designed to promote family life.

The figures show that up to a quarter of a million more children are living with both their parents.

Amongst lower income families, 48 percent of children live with both their birth parents. Although this is not quite half of all children in lower income families, the figures have improved. There was an increase in the number of children living with both parents of three percent since 2010-11. This means that there are now around 75,000 more children from lower income families living with both of their birth parents.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith praised the results, saying:

“We know that family breakdown – or a damaged parental relationship – can have a devastating impact on children’s prospects as they grow up. Whereas when families are strong and stable the children tend to have better life chances.”

He added:

“Today’s figures show a rise in the number of children growing up with both their parents – and, encouragingly, the rise has been greatest amongst families on low incomes. The savings from this kind of social change are significant, but the most important thing is that this will transform the lives of those families for the better.”

The Department for Work and Pensions adds, however, that the statistics “should not be interpreted as saying lone parents and step families cannot provide high levels of love and support – all types of family structure have the potential to provide the stability that is vital for enabling good outcomes.”

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