The study found that while 62 per cent of 15-year-olds own a smartphone, only 57 per cent live with their fathers.
Tory MP Andrew Selous said: ‘It’s a very alarming and shocking statistic and a call to action to put strengthening family stability much higher up the political agenda.’
The report warned that the number of single-parent families had risen by 20,000 a year between 2010 and 2013.
It said 48 per cent of children aged five and under in the poorest 20 per cent of families were now from broken homes. The CSJ also found more than 1million children had lost contact with their grandparents as a result of separation or divorce.
I’ve been saying for a long time that governments should stop giving or refusing a uniform amount or type of benefits by default, and make social workers earn their salaries by finding out if there is a way to convince people to take different routes to recovery or maintenance.
There are many ways a government can encourage families to stay together, and to reduce the possible damage that single parenthood can do. If they’re going to be in people’s business at all, they should be trying to do something good there. The possibilities include, but are not limited to…
- Required parenting classes throughout high school, since most people will end up being or assisting parents. Some schools have already brought back home economics or adulting classes. This is a step in the right direction.
- Encouraging father involvement whenever this would not be harmful, and requiring it in some cases. A parent should not be able to bar another parent on a whim. If there is abuse suspected, it should be investigated…not that I trust the state to get this right, but it would be nice.
- More benefits for low income families who stay together or coparent with additional adult family or close friends than for those that split. Again, the state might not get this totally right, but there should be some incentive for 2+ parent homes.
- Requiring DNA testing when there is a dispute in child support, and reducing what he has to pay per child when it is clear that the father has made children with multiple women within a 10 year period. It will encourage women to check a man’s history if they know they may get less from having babies with a trifling man-hoe.
- Matching and teaming up low income and student single parents for legally relevant co-parenting arrangements, so that the kids have at least two people with a vested interest in their wellbeing looking after them.
There are many ways to make life better for single parents while at the same time encouraging dual parental involvement, commitment, and marriage.