New Labour and Family Policy



Labour became the first government in the UK ever to set out an explicit family policy. Their aspirations and plans were contained within a 1998 discussion document Supporting Families (Home Office, 1998). However, some of the plans were already launched or under consultation (FPSC, 1999; Fox-Harding, 2000) and, overall, a coherent approach to family policy was not presented. Rather, the strength of the document lay in its demonstration that family policy is a new and important agenda for Labour. What has followed is a series of cross-cutting initiatives directed at families with children and an explicit commitment made in 1999 to eradicate child poverty.


Parental Leave Child Poverty Family Policy Social Work Practice Lone Parent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Backett-Milburn, K., Cunningham-Burley, S., and Kemmer, D. (2001) Caring and Providing: Lone and Partnered Working Mothers in Scotland. London: Family Policy Studies Centre.Google Scholar
  2. Bagilhole, B and Byrne, P (2000) ‘From Hard to Soft Law and from Equality to Reconciliation in the United Kingdom’ in Hantrais, L. (2000) Gendered Policies In Europe: Reconciling Employment and Family Life. Macmillan: London.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, M. (1999) ‘The Looking After Children Materials: a critical analysis of their use in practice’, Adoption and Fostering, 22.4, pp. 15–24.Google Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, J. (ed.) (2001) Poverty: The Outcomes for Children. London: Family Policy Studies Centre.Google Scholar
  5. Bradshaw, J. (2000) ‘Prospects for Poverty in Britain in the First Twenty-Five Years of the Next Century’, Sociology, vol. 34(1), February, pp. 53–70.Google Scholar
  6. Bradshaw, J. (2002) personal correspondence.Google Scholar
  7. Bradshaw, J., and Stimson, C. (1997) Using Child Benefit in the Family Budget. London: The Stationary Office.Google Scholar
  8. Brewer, M., Clark, T. and Goodman, A. (2002) The Government’s Child Poverty Target: How much Progress Has Been Made? London: Institute for Fiscal Studies.Google Scholar
  9. Broad, B., Hayes, R. and Rustforth, C. (2001) Kith and Kin: Kinship Care for Vulnerable Young People. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  10. Burchardt, T., Le Grand, J. and Piachaud, D. (1999) ‘Social Exclusion in Britain in 1991–1995’, Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33(3), pp. 227–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burden, T., Cooper, C. and Petrie, S. (2000) ‘Modernising’ Social Policy: Unravelling New Labour’s Welfare Reforms. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  12. Callender, C. (2000) The Barriers to Childcare Provision, DEE Research Report RR231. Nottingham: DfEE Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Childcare Commission Report (2001) Looking to the Future for Children and Families. London: Kids’ Clubs Network.Google Scholar
  14. Children and Young People’s Unit (2001) Tomorrow’s Future: Building a Strategy for Children and Young People. London: CYPU.Google Scholar
  15. Coote, E., Harman, H. and Hewitt, P. (1990) The Family Way: A New Approach to Policy Making. London: Institute of Public Policy Research.Google Scholar
  16. Daniel, P. and Ivatts, J. (1998) Children and Social Policy. Houndmills: Macmillan–Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Daycare Trust (1999) ‘Childcare Gaps’, Briefing Paper 1 in Childcare Now, The Next Steps series. London: Daycare Trust.Google Scholar
  18. — (2001) ‘All Our Futures: Putting Childcare at the Centre of Every Neighbourhood’, Issue 1 of Thinking Big: Childcare for All policy series. London: Daycare Trust.Google Scholar
  19. Department for Education and Employment (DEE) (1998) Meeting the Childcare Challenge: Green Paper. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  20. — (2000) Changing Patterns in a Changing World: A Discussion Document. Suffolk: Prolog.Google Scholar
  21. — (2000a) A Survey of Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships. Nottingham: DEE Publications.Google Scholar
  22. — Press Release 26 January and 27 February 2001.Google Scholar
  23. Department of Health (DoH) (1995) Child Protection: Messages from Research. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  24. — (1998) Quarterly Protests: Framework for Action. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  25. — (2000) Working Together to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  26. — (2001) Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  27. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (2002) Households Below Average Income 1994/5–2000/01. Leeds: Corporate Document Services.Google Scholar
  28. Dex, S. (ed.) (1999) Families and the Labour Market: Trends Pressures and Policies. London: Family Policy Studies Centre.Google Scholar
  29. Family Policy Studies Centre (1999) Supporting Families, Family Briefing paper II, London: FPSC.Google Scholar
  30. Family Policy Studies Centre (2000) Family Poverty and Social Exclusion, Family Briefing Paper 15. London: FPSC.Google Scholar
  31. Finch, H. and Gloyer, M. (2000) Lone Parents and Childcare: A Further Look at Evaluation Data on the New Deal for Lone Parents. DSS Research Report no. 68. London: Corporate Document Services.Google Scholar
  32. Fox-Harding, L. (1996) Family, State and Social Policy. London: Macmillan–Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. — (2000) Supporting Families/Controlling Families?Towards a Characterisation of New Labour’sFamily Policy’, Working Paper no. 21, ESRC Seminar Series, ‘Postmodern Kinship’, University of Leeds: Centre for Research on Family, Kinship and Childhood.Google Scholar
  34. Gray, A. (2001) “‘Making Work Pay” — Devising the Best strategy for Lone Parents in Britain’, Journal of Social Policy, vol 30(2), pp. 189–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harker L. (2000) ‘The Provision of Childcare: The Shifting Public/Private Boundaries’, New Economy, vol. 7(3) September pp. 172–5.Google Scholar
  36. Henricson, C., Katz, I., Mesie, J., Sandison, M. and Tunstill, J. (2001) National Mapping of Family Services in England and Walesa Consultation Document. London, National Family and Parenting Institute.Google Scholar
  37. HM Treasury (1999) Supporting Children Through the Tax and Benefit System, no. 5 in the Tax and Benefit Modernisation series.Google Scholar
  38. — (2000) Tackling Poverty and Making Work Pay, no. 6 in the Tax and Benefit Modernisation series.Google Scholar
  39. — (2001) Budget, March 2001, index.html
  40. — (2002) Budget, April 2002,
  41. Home Office (1998) Supporting Families: A Consultation Document. London: The Stationary Office. Also available on the web: sfpages.pdf
  42. — (1998) Supporting Families: Summary of Responses to the Consultation document, London: The Stationary Office. Also available on the web:
  43. Inland Revenue (2001) New Tax Credits: Supporting Families, Making Work Pay and Tackling Poverty, Available at:
  44. Jordan, W. (2000) Social Work and the Third Way. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Land, H. (1999a) ‘New Labour New Families?’, in H. Dean, and R. Woods (eds), Social Policy Review no. 11, Luton: SPA.Google Scholar
  46. — (1999b) ‘The Changing World of Work and Families’, in S. Watson and L. Doyal (eds), Engendering Social Policy. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  47. La Valle, I., Finch, S., Nove, A. and Lewin, C. (2000) ParentsDemand for Childcare, DfEE Research Report no. 176. Nottingham: DfEE Publications.Google Scholar
  48. Lister, R. (1996) ‘Back to the Family: Family Policies and Politics under the Major Government’, in H. Jones, and J. Millar (eds), The Politics of the Family. Aldershot: Avebury.Google Scholar
  49. McRae, S. (ed.) (1999) Changing Britain: Families and Households in the 1990s. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Murray, C. (1990) The Emerging British Underclass. London: Institute of Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  51. Rake, K. (2001) ‘Gender and New Labour’s Social Policies’, Journal of Social Policy, vol. 30(2), pp 209–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Twomey, B. (2002) ‘Women in the Labour Market: Results from the Spring 2001 Labour Force’ Survey, Labour Market Trends, vol. 110(3) March.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christine Skinner 2003

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations