Family is a core pillar of my work as Children’s Commissioner. It was clear from children’s responses to ‘The Big Ask’ that family is very important to children. Many children explained how having a supportive family has a positive impact on their lives – from receiving emotional support, to being able to talk with family members about their worries and aspirations for the future. As one 11-year-old boy said, “a loving family is worth more than money and will give you guidance, support, love, and advice.”
I want to understand children’s lives as part of a wider family unit. I am therefore very excited to have been commissioned by Government to carry out an Independent Review of contemporary family life. This comprehensive, research-led Family Review will allow us to explore all aspects of modern family life, and to examine how families understand themselves. It will also allow us to investigate how families can best be supported, by researching how public services understand the needs of families.
Capturing children’s voices is key to this Review. This month I have launched a ‘Call to Action’ for children. Through answering two short questions – what word do you think of regarding ‘family,’ and what does family mean to you? – this is a great opportunity to hear directly from children about what contemporary family life is like, and the role that family plays in their lives.
Throughout the course of the review I will be launching a variety of ‘Call to Action’s’ for different audiences to have their say.