The family is a major social institution that is central to individual and social well-being. We want to understand how families are changing and how they affect the choices people make about their children, their employment and their community.
Through the research we fund, we want to understand more about how family and household composition is changing, and the impact of family on people’s economic, social, physical and emotional well-being. This includes how families are affected by policy relating to tax, housing and welfare, for example in the decisions parents make for their children and their work.
We also want to explore the relationship between family and living circumstances and chronic illness, disability and mental health.
Our work in family and community cuts across our work in Education, Welfare and Justice. For example, we fund research that explores the relationship between the family and home learning environment and children’s education outcomes. We are also one of the largest funders of research relating to family justice.
Our impact in family and community
The Children’s Commissioner’s work on vulnerable children was informed by Dr Polly Vizard’s work on child poverty and multidimensional disadvantage, which identified ways to include ‘missing’ groups of children in the evidence base.
Policy makers and researchers have access to better evidence on families as a result of our report on understanding the lives of separating and separated families. This work by Caroline Bryson has led to enhancements to the Understanding Society longitudinal survey
Research from Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva on the economic disadvantage that refugees face compared to other migrants in the UK has informed the work of the Home Office, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for International Development, the Red Cross and the Refugee Council.