6th December 2022

Family Review Part II: Why we are revisiting the Family Test

Part 1 of the Children’s Commissioner’s Family Review quantified the power of families and, for the first time, established the protective influence that strong family relationships exert on children. Part 1 of the Review also provided a deeper insight into what families look like in the 21st Century. The story told was a complex one; a network of connections, constantly shifting, evolving and dynamic.  

Regardless of the composition of a family – whether “blended”, extended or single-parent, formed by birth, kinship, fostering or adoption – the Review demonstrated that strong family relationships are fundamental in supporting happy children thrive into adulthood. 

The Review found that, whilst family life has altered significantly in recent decades, the data and tools which Government and local services use to support families has not always managed to reflect these changes. Now is a moment to revisit and revive how we think about families. One of the tools to do this the Family Test, which is used across Government policymakers to think about if policy delivers for families. There is a chance to look a new at the Family Test and if it reflects children and families’ needs. 

Part 2 of the Children’s Commissioner’s Independent Family Review will explore the principles which a revived Family Framework should offer to families in order to maximise their protective effect on children. This will include a new focus on strengthening children’s relationships with their immediate and extended family networks, and a strong emphasis on children’s outcomes and evaluation. 

Part 2 of the Children’s Commissioner’s Independent Family Review will be published on the 15th December 2022.