Can Free Government Counselling Save Families?


Is free counselling the way forward to stop family breakdowns? Iain Duncan Smith seems to think so. Under Government plans, new parents will receive relationship counselling from health visitors.

Married Parents Stay Together Longer

Marriage, relationship breakdowns and divorce are costly not only to the Government, but also to the individual. Finding out the root cause of the breakdown and working with families to "recognise and respond" when there is a problem that could have long-term effects, is the Government's strategy to improve family life.

family breakdowns and resolving issues with counselling

Carol Chrisfield, Family solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP recently commented, "There are statistics that show if parents are married they are more likely to stay together longer." According to Government figures, 48,000 couples have taken relationship counselling and 160,000 took the opportunity to participate in preventative relationship support. From this it's clear that couples want to stay together, they just need the right support to do so. "As we no longer live in extended families and we often move great distances from family support, it can be important that young families are given as much help and support as possible."

If the family support isn't there, who is best place to provide this important advice and help that couples need? Duncan Smith thinks health visitors are best placed to work with people as they're already working within the community as trusted professionals. He went on to say, "Working together… instilling basic concepts such as love, compassion and trust" were all part of social justice and the key to tackling family breakdowns, debt, addiction and 'worklessness'.

Healthy Parental Relationships

The Coalition also wants to support "sustainable and healthy parental relationships". Families are a "vital priority" to the Government, according to Duncan Smith, and they aim to provide support to "help parents give their children the best start".

Being a parent isn't easy, Carol agrees it brings both "stresses and rewards and is a 24 hour a day job – with no sick leave or holidays! It can be exhausting and any help which can be provided to support parents can only be beneficial to both them and their children."

Preventing family breakdowns is just one step on the road to safeguarding families but unfortunately families do break down. Support is also needed at this point to help ex-spouses and children re-adjust.

The Government may not have covered this but we certainly do. Whilst providing legal services, we can direct you to the right support for you and your family.

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