When families are strong and stable, so are children - showing higher levels of wellbeing and more positive outcomes. But when things go wrong - either through family breakdown or a damaged parental relationship - the impact on a child's later life can be devastating.
With the right support, a child growing up in a dysfunctional household, who was destined for a lifetime on benefits could be put on an entirely different track - one which sees them move into fulfilling and sustainable work. In doing so, they will pull themselves out of poverty.
That thing, 'You must stay together for the kids,' is out of fashion but is right. It's not arguing parents that children don't like, it is having one parent.
Every parent wants to know that their children are protected against those who have a particular agenda until they get old enough to make decisions for themselves.
We do a disservice to society if we ignore the evidence which shows that stable families tend to be associated with better outcomes for children.
By measuring the proportion of children living with the same parents from birth and whether their parents report a good quality relationship we are driving home the message that social programmes should promote family stability and avert breakdown.
I do not believe the picture that some people paint of Scottish towns dependent on welfare. Every time I come here, I meet people who are determined to get into work. Who, with the right help are desperate to get off benefits, support their family and set an example for their children.
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