Child welfare as an area of policy has never been regarded as a political priority, and, whilst children should always matter regardless of time or place, this has not always been the case in world history - or British politics.
Now, sustained campaigning by charities and reformers over the last decade has pushed child well-being to the top of the government's agenda, and it is set to stay there for 2016.
In a bold move which sets the tone for this year, current Children's Commissioner for England and Wales, Anne Longfield OBE, has called on the government
to create a Cabinet Minister for children in order to amplify the voice of the child at the highest level and ensure that their needs are properly addressed.
The move highlights a shift in thinking on children's rights, and the realisation that child matters are enmeshed in every area of politics.
The relationship between children and government has, in the past, resembled that of an arm's length parent with little interest in their child's success, but the ties run deep. How we treat children as a society tells us a great deal about the health of our democracy. That much of last year's national media coverage was focused on the nation's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse had as much to do with the public's morbid fascination with child crime as it did with Westminster's part to play in covering up abuse committed at the hands of government officials. And, as democracy requires us to trust that our politicians are essentially good people, ministerial scandals involving abused and murdered children have slowly eroded what little public good will was left towards civil servants.
Prime Minister David Cameron is looking to recoup some of that good will, and further his vision for a Big Society (which has not yet caught on) by targeting family for the next 5 years - starting now. The overarching focus on family policy is thought to be underpinned by a drive to safeguard families from separation and, ultimately, poverty which can stem from family breakdown. The Prime Minister's first initiative - to make parenting classes the norm
for all families with children - was unveiled earlier this month; but this too has sparked controversy, with parents calling the proposal 'heavy handed', and akin to Nanny State-style intervention. Not all parents, though, shared this view: social media commentary highlighted mixed views, including the belief that the initiative was a welcome move that could offer struggling families support.