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Family is a core pillar of my work, following the results of The Big Ask. Children told me that having a supportive family has a positive impact on their lives. They care about their families and they value seeing them, with 80% of 9-17-year-olds saying they are happy or okay with their family life, along with 95% of 6-8-year-olds.

Where children do not live with immediate family, they care about having a happy home. They told us if they were unhappy at home and with their family life, they were nine times more likely to be unhappy with their life overall, and 70% of them were unhappy with their mental health. 

My vision is for a reset of the relationship between the state and families, to show how we can reform public services to support families not just as ‘service users’ but as loving, supportive units, enabling them to support one another.  

A loving family is worth more than money and will give you guidance support and love and advice.

Boy, 11,
The Big Ask.

My work so far…

Children's commissioner talking to your children at books without borders

Family Review Part One

In September 2022, I published Family and its Protective Effect: Part 1 of the Independent Family Review. This report explores what family looks like, how families define themselves, the protective effect of family, and what families want from services. I launched this report with a speech hosted by Policy Exchange. 

Dame Rachel de Souza standing with a group of children at risky play

Family Review Part Two

In December 2022, I published Part 2 of my Review, which set out how public services and policymakers can use the findings of Part I to reform their relationship with families, how to empower parents to be the best they can be, and ensuring they are given the right support to achieve that goal. 

Building on this work, we have collected a wide variety of family profiles that give us a snapshot of what families in modern Britain look like and how they interact.  

Dame Rachel de Souza sitting with children under a tree

The Big Summer Survey

My office carried out The Big Summer Survey as part of my Family Review, which saw more than 15,800 children aged 7 to 17 respond to questions about how they spent their school break and who they spent their time with. We have published a webpage for children providing key resources and ideas for activities to enjoy as a family.

Dame Rachel de Souza speaking in a car park with teachers


Childcare was one of the two biggest issues parents raised in my Family Review, who told me it does not currently work for families. Parents want childcare that is high-quality and loving, so their children can thrive. Children need parents who aren’t dealing with the stress of unaffordable and inflexible childcare. Last autumn I set out my vision for a childcare system that works for everyone, making better use of schools, Family Hubs and children’s centres. I spoke about this vision again recently at a panel event to reinforce the idea that childcare is not a ‘woman’s issue’ – it’s a family one.

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