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Family first

Catholic Union Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, writes:

It can sometimes be difficult for politicians and others in public office to accept the limit of their powers. This was not a problem however for our Craigmyle Lecturer this year, Dame Rachel de Souza, who readily acknowledged that there are some things best done by the family.

Dame Rachel, who is Children’s Commissioner for England, said that “strong families are the fabric of any healthy society…” but that “the government tends to see families for the collection of challenges they face, rather than the innate power they hold.”

In evidence her office had gathered, a staggering 78 percent of young people said they would turn to family first with a problem. The Catholic Union, along with other groups, has been making the case that stronger families are at the heart of tackling many of the challenges we face. But it is rare to hear this acknowledged by senior public figures these days.

Dame Rachel’s Catholic faith has clearly helped to shape her view on what is needed to create a society where children can flourish. This is an area where Catholic Social Teaching has much to offer. Our job is to help share this with others. A full write up of the talk can be found here.