£46bn: Cost of family failure remains very high


Our annual “Cost of Family Failure Index” continues to receive widespread attention. Most notably it was used by the Department for Education in their evaluation of the cost effectiveness of relationship support services including those provided by Relat...

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A welcome flexing of the muscles


Relationships Foundation welcomes the social justice strategy presented today by Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and chair of the social justice cabinet committee.

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Family policy has become a pawn in coalition politics


In today’s speech on the nature of an Open Society, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg included a widely-trailed swipe at marriage tax allowances, using cheap debating points not worthy of a sixth former.

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Relationships Foundation is urging British politicians and policy makers to set out a Family Deal, formally spelling out what government needs and expects from families if goals are to be achieved, especially in the tough times we are going through. In turn the government must set out a clear strategy for supporting families. The deal should be at the heart of the understanding of rights and responsibilities between the government and the general public. It needs to be clearly stated and easily understood. It needs to be written into departmental plans. Above all, it needs political leaders who will do more than pay lip service to family policy.


The Relationship Foundation has, over many years, incubated a number of initiatives that strengthen and protect relationships, the latest being the Marriage Foundation.



The Relationships Foundation’s annual “Cost of Family Failure Index” is now widely quoted both in the UK and internationally. The 2014 update shows that the breakdown of relationships continues to be a huge charge on the public purse at £46bn a year (equivalent to a cost of over £1,500 per taxpayer).


The annual Budget, recently delivered by the Chancellor, address the nation’s finances and considers how businesses can grow the economy. But the vital output of families needs to be part of the accounts too and we can no longer ignore the £46 billion cost of their failure which is unsustainable in any economic climate, let alone the current one. RF believes we need a balanced overall budget, an economic plus a social budget, that assesses the health and strength of the relationships on which we depend, and which create huge costs when they go wrong. The government depends on families for improvements in education, health, social care, welfare and criminal justice. To ignore social policy is to court systemic stress and failure.