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70% of children living with both parents

Proportion of children raised by both parents increases by 3%

The number of children living with both birth parents has risen to 70%, the Department for Works and Pensions has confirmed.

The proportion of children whose parents are raising them together rose by 3 percentage points between 2010/11 and 2012/13. The latest statistics – which are from the Family Stability Indicator – come as the government releases statistics on the number of couples accessing relationship support.

The DWP states that since 2010 £30million government investment has seen 160,000 people access preventative relationship support, over 48,000 couples participate in relationship counselling and over 12,000 practitioners trained to help families in difficulty. The department claims that this has  returned as much as £11.50 to the taxpayer for every pound spent.

Last year the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took over responsibility for relationship support policy. This brings together both pre and post separation relationship support in one place, which ministers believe will lead to a more joined up and streamlined approach to supporting families.

The Family Stability Indicator is one of seven indicators that are part of the government's Social Justice Strategy, which was launched in March 2012. It sets out the government's vision in tackling multiple disadvantages including worklessness, drug and alcohol addiction through early intervention and with a focus on recovery and independence.

DWP is now commissioning new pilots to provide relationship education in antenatal and postnatal classes. Father participation will be encouraged and areas with relatively high rates of births registered either by lone parents or parents living at separate addresses will be included in the pilot. The department is also introducing guidance and training for health visitors in spotting the signs of relationship distress and how to respond.