Ten years of family policy: 1999–2009

Document type
Discussion paper
James, Claire
Family and Parenting Institute
Date of publication
1 January 2009
Social welfare
Material type

Download (445KB )

This discussion paper reviews developments in family policy in England between 1999 and 2009. The changes of that decade took place against a background of national economic prosperity. One of the most significant developments was the Every Child Matters agenda, which set in train a reshaping of children’s services. Alongside new procedures and systems introduced to encourage information-sharing and multidisciplinary working, there was an emphasis on intervention in the early years. This was exemplified by Sure Start, which aimed to reduce the link between childhood poverty and life chances. The current recession is imposing new challenges on both families and public services and the context for the future is one of high public debt. This paper provides an overview of family policy in the hope that some lessons from the past can inform progress in the future.

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