In modern Britain, politicians have become very nervous about talking about family breakdown. They are almost immediately accused of being ideological for even having a view as to whether it is a bad thing.
Yet as a result of this, the effect of family breakdown has often gone under reported. However, beyond this sterile debate, the stark fact is that the break-up of family relationships is one of the quickest routes into poverty. Government figures have long shown that children in families that break apart are more than twice as likely to experience poverty as those whose families stay together.
This paper makes the case, in crystal clear terms, as to why this happens. Among the many problems it causes, an experience of family breakdown as a child doubles your chances of failing at school, doubles your chances of getting into trouble with the police, and more than doubles your chances of becoming homeless. In fact, in the case of homelessness, experience of family breakdown is a greater risk factor than mental health problems or even drug addiction.