Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Supporting Families

Yesterday the Conservatives set out how we will help the poorest families in society. David Cameron has shared a platform with the thoughtful Labour MP Frank Field. He has explained how we will keep Sure Start, and how we will strengthen it by recruiting 4,200 new Sure Start health visitors to provide universal support to families with children under five and a more effective way of reaching out to the most vulnerable families.

We believe Sure Start needs to work better because the people who need it most – disadvantaged and dysfunctional families – are not getting enough of the benefit. We will improve Sure Start by taking it back to its original purpose of early intervention, increasing its focus on the neediest families, and better involving organisations with a track record in parenting interventions. Drawing on the key principles behind our wider public service reform programme – practicality, independence and accountability – we will create a new kind of Sure Start Children’s Centre to replace failing existing provision.

This is part of our mission to build the strong society based on the values of responsibility and aspiration. For that, we need responsible individuals. We can help people take more responsibility for themselves by focusing on the three areas where character is formed in our early lives – in the family, at school and through the influences of wider society – and take action to ingrain responsibility through each.

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