Hilary White

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Skyrocketing levels of fatherlessness having ‘devastating’ effects on children: UK report

Hilary White
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June 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Half of all children born in the UK are being raised by one parent, usually the mother, “and every year an additional 20,000 people, mainly women, join the throngs of those raising children more or less singlehandedly,” according to a new report by the Centre for Social Justice.

The report, titled “Fractured Families: Why Stability Matters,” called it a “conservative estimate” that a million children in Britain grow up having “no meaningful contact at all” with their fathers. This is compounded by the “dearth” of male teachers in schools. 

The effect of the absence of fathers, they said, has been “devastating”: “Children with separated, single or step-parents are 50 per cent more likely to fail at school, have low self-esteem, struggle to make friends and with their behaviour. They often battle with anxiety or depression throughout the rest of their lives. 

The report also pointed out the effects of marital or relationship breakdown on the parents themselves. “Adults’ mental and physical health can take a huge knock when relationships crumble, making it much harder for them to achieve at work and be the parents they want to be,” it said. 

The report found that 130,000 more families are headed by a single parent than in 2006, and an additional 125,000 dependent children are not living with both parents. 

Ninety-two per cent of all lone-parent households with dependent children are headed by mothers. 

The sheer financial cost of this one fundamental social ill are “eye-watering,” said the report, up to £49 billion per year, more than the Government’s whole defence budget. 

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“Indications of future instability are reflected in the continued increase in the number of people cohabiting,” the report added. “Parents who cohabit are three times more likely to have separated by the time their child is aged five than parents who are married.” 

“Families, committed relationships and safe environments are the most powerful down payment this country could make against deprivation,” said the authors. 

Peter Hitchens wrote in the Daily Mail, “By the end of his or her childhood, a British boy or girl is much more likely to have a TV set in the bedroom than a father at home.” 

“As we soppily mark ‘Father’s Day’ with cards, socks, sentimentality and meals out, we should remember that in almost all cases the absent parent is the father,” Hitchens said. 

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