The future government should do more to support healthy couple, co-parenting and family relationships to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing and make significant savings to the public purse. This is according to the Relationships Alliance 2017 Manifesto
, launched in anticipation of the general election.
The manifesto was produced by The Relationships Alliance, a group of relationship support charities consisting of Relate
, Tavistock Relationships
and Marriage Care
. The Alliance is calling on all political parties to support strong and healthy relationships by making seven policy priorities a reality if elected. These priorities include introducing a cross-government relationships strategy with a cabinet Minister for Families and Relationships, funding free or subsidised relationship support for disadvantaged groups and expanding the successful IAPT Couple Therapy for Depression programme
The Relationships Alliance members say that a robust agenda to support relationships would help to resolve parental conflict, reduce health demand, improve children’s educational attainment and ensure people can better protect themselves from shocks such as losing a job, debt, family breakdown or long-term health conditions. Furthermore, these benefits would save the state millions of pounds.
The Alliance has based its manifesto priorities on a growing body of evidence demonstrating the value of relationship support services to society and the economy. For example, the government’s own evaluation found that relationship counselling could save £11.40 for every £1 spent
. In addition, a recent evidence review
by the University of Sussex and the Early Intervention Foundation found that the quality of the relationship between parents is a ‘primary influence’ on children’s outcomes.