New Family Test unveiled
6 November 2014 by Simon Osborn
Before taking power, David Cameron claimed that his government would be the “most family friendly” in history. He announced plans for a family test in August, and the details have now been outlined. For the first time, civil servants will need to consider the impact of policies on families before they are put before ministers and parliament.
Families include married and cohabiting couples. Also included are extended family relationships, such as adopted and foster children, grandparent – grandchild relationships and kinship care. The government has announced that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will provide roughly £20million towards relationship support with the aim of reducing relationship breakdown and ensuring family stability.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said :
When considering new laws and policies, all departments will need to document how they have met the family test and assessed the potential impact of any planned changes on family life. The test has been developed in consultation with Relationship Alliance and various other families and relationship experts with the aim of ensuring that family perspective is at the heart of government policy.
Ruth Sutherland, Chair of the Relationships Alliance and Chief Executive Officer of Relate, said:
“We very much welcome the implementation of the family test, which was announced at our Relationships Summit in August. This is an important step towards putting families and relationships at the heart of public policy, something we have been campaigning passionately for. We are proud to have supported the development of the test and we look forward to seeing it in action, helping policymakers to put the interests of all families at the centre of their work.”
The test was announced on 31st October 2014 and further details can be viewed here.