Family Review

The Family Review seeks to understand what family means to people, how services support families, and what can be done to improve services

As part of Inclusive Britain – the Government’s response to the 2021 Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities – the Children’s Commissioner was asked to undertake an Independent Review into family life.

The Children’s Commissioner has now published ‘Family and its protective effect’: Part 1 of the Independent Family Review, which paints a unique and comprehensive picture of family life today. It focuses on what families look like in modern Britain, defines for the first time what exactly is protective about them, and looks at the unique experiences of children for whom the state is their parent.

The Review was informed by thousands of children and families across the country and draws on new and detailed analysis of existing data sets, conversations with experts and frontline workers, and a review of relevant literature including submissions from key stakeholders.

The Children’s Commissioner has included some recommendations for policy makers, and a framework for answering them will underpin Part 2 of the Review.

Part 2 of the Family Review will be published in due course, and will look at how oversight, accountability and availability of services can be made more cohesive and family centred. It will also aim to provide solutions for how families can better navigate what is available to them locally.

A positive approach to parenting: Part 2 of the Independent Family Review

Part 2 of the Independent Family Review shares new insights into the positive impact of a strong family, looking at the crucial role parents play and tools that every parent needs to have agency over their families’ outcomes.

Building upon Part 1 of the Review, Part 2 establishes that all families tend to want the same core things: families want to get along and love one another, they want to be able to support themselves and each other, to spend quality time together, and to able to trust and rely on each other.

A positive approach to parenting: Part 2 of the Independent Family Review

Family and its protective effect: Part 1 of the Independent Family Review

This Review draws on brand new quantitative and qualitative research across all families and children in England to show what modern family life looks like, how its changed over time and how it’s been impacted by pandemic.

For the first time, the Review defines what is so important about family, its protective effect and how it can insulate family from challenges. The Review also examines what services are available to families, and what benefit they get from them.

Family and its protective effect: Part 1 of the Independent Family Review


The Big Summer Survey

The Big Summer Survey has now closed.

Thank you to all those who took part. These responses will feed into Part 2 of the Family Review which be exploring further how services can be designed to better support families’ needs.

Family Profiles

We asked families to contribute to our research by sharing their Family Profile – a snapshot of what families means to them, their strengths, the challenges they may have experienced, how they like to spend their time and the support that they value the most.

We will be sharing the Family Profiles we received over the next few weeks.

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