More than 80 per cent of families are living on the edge of crisis, a new report by the charity 4Children has claimed.

Following a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, the charity has claimed 40 per cent of families had encountered redundancy or long term unemployment, and 43 per cent had gone through divorce or separation.

The survey was commissioned as part of the charity's Give Me Strength campaign, which is aiming to put early intervention on the government's agenda to prevent crisis occurring. It found that only 17 per cent of families had not experienced homelessness, domestic violence, alcohol or drug addiction, bankruptcy or serious debt, caring for a relative, mental ill health, death of an immediate relative who was no elderly, redundancy or divorce.

The majority - more than 90 per cent - of those surveyed - claimed that practical help and support was the best solution for dealing with families reaching the point of crisis.

Anne Longfield OBE, chief executive of 4Children said: "We know that all families go through tough times. How well families cope with these problems makes all the difference as to whether they can stay together and their children can flourish. We need to stop crisis-managing families and instead provide more support early on so that they have the strength and skills they need to overcome the problems that inevitably will arise. 

"We also need to stop stigmatising families that struggle. Our research shows that serious challenges are widespread. We need to be more honest about this so that families don't feel they have to suffer in silence for fear of being branded a failure."

Posted by Robert Mair on 10.5.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com  

 
 Family stress