Former Tory leader’s think tank calls for introduction of family services

Councils should employ a director of family services to sit above the directors of children’s and adult’s services according to a green paper from former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith’s think tank.

The Centre for Social Justice, a think tank headed by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, makes the recommendation in a green paper on family published ahead of the government’s families green paper this week.

The report, which points to evidence of the negative impact that single parent households can have on children, also suggests the creation of family fostering placements, which would provide intensive residential support to families with children “at immediate risk of entering care for preventable reasons.”

The paper also addresses the issue of recognising marriage in the tax system by allowing a transferable tax allowance for married couples with children aged nought to three, and removing the “couple penalty” in the working tax credit system, giving couples the same ratio of support as lone parents.

But the Child Poverty Action Group urged all political parties to commit to showing support and understanding to single parents and their children and not punishing them.

Imran Hussain, head of policy for the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “This report rightly identifies that bringing up children is more difficult for single parents than it is for married couples, this is in no small part because single parents are more than twice as likely to be in poverty.

He added: “Using the tax system to incentivise marriage and promote family stability represents poor value for money lifting only 10,000 children out of poverty.  The same amount of money invested in tax credits and benefits could lift 100,000 children out of poverty.”