• In 2021, there were 2.3 million separated families in the UK, with 3.6 million children.  
  • Almost half of children are growing up outside the traditional nuclear family.
  • 44% of babies born at the start of the century did not live with both biological parents their entire childhood.
  • Every year, approximately 280,000 children have parents who separate.

Our report, A Child’s Right To Matter, shines a light on these children and asks:

‘Who in Government takes responsibility for children when parents separate?’

  • The Department for Education takes responsibility for ‘Public Law’, for families with child protection concerns, where the state becomes involved.
  • The Ministry of Justice is responsible for ‘Private Law’, where parents apply to the family court to address safety concerns, or finance or child arrangements.
  • Most families who separate need neither public law nor access to the family court under private law. Who takes responsibility for them?
  • The answer from this report appears to be no one.
  • UK Youth Parliament found that young people face a wide range of concerns when parents separate but 74% would not know who to ask for information or support.

Read our Report and Executive Summary “A Child’s Right to Matter”, which includes our detailed findings and our recommendations to Government, to the Department for Education and Schools, and for Family Hubs.

“I very much welcome the publication of ‘A Child’s Right to Matter’.
It is, sadly, necessary for this report to state its standout finding that ‘the needs of
children when parents separate have been overlooked’. It is a palpable truth.
We should all now heed the report’s clearly stated call for action.”

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of Family Division

What the UK Youth Parliament told us