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News – Family breakdowns

May 2008

Family breakdowns

 

A senior family court judge has highlighted what he calls an ‘epidemic’ of family failure and a ‘wholesale collapse’ of family life which is pushing children into drugs and crime. Mr Justice Coleridge, a Family Division judge for England and Wales, said urban family life is ‘in meltdown’ and the Government is doing too little to address the problem.

     In a speech to lawyers from Resolution, formerly the Solicitors’ Family Law Association, the judge warned of a ‘cancerous’ increase in broken families and say the Government must take ‘comprehensive action’. He believes the collapse is of a scale and severity that would have been unimaginable even ten years ago.

     However, the Government defended its record on the family and said most children were ‘safe, healthy, and achieve well’. A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Families and Schools said: ‘We do not agree that there has been a breakdown in the family – 70% of families are headed by a married couple … And a recent BBC poll suggests that three-quarters of people in Britain are optimistic about the future of their families; 24% higher than when the same question was asked in 1964’.

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