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Children in Wales ‘significantly happier’ with family relationships says report by England’s children commissioner

01 Sep 2022 3 minute read
A grandmother and grandchild

A report by the Children’s Commissioner for England has found that children in Wales are “significantly happier” with their family relationships than other nations and regions of the UK.

The findings were published in a new report by Dame Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England, on the influence of family on children’s well-being.

It included a survey of 3,300 parents and 2,200 children across the nations of the UK, and well as focus groups.

“Children’s happiness about their relationships with family varied significantly by region, in which children in Wales showed significantly higher happiness scores than other regions in the UK,” the report said.

Children in Wales reported themselves to be happiest with their family relationships, with Northern Ireland in second place and the North East of England in third.

The East of England and the South East of England were the regions with children who were the least happy with their family relationships.

“We know that if children have happy and supportive families, they are more likely to succeed later-on in life,” Rachel de Souza said. “They are more likely to have healthy relationships. They are more likely to have happy lives.

“The research shows it’s more about the quality of family relationships than the composition or relative position of the family in society.

“It’s about strong and lasting relationships, relying on each other, and spending time together. And believing you could rely on family in time of crisis is associated with significantly higher overall well-being.

“Family can insulate us from the harshness of difficult times and so looking into the short term, and long term, we must protect it and support it in whatever ways we can.”


She urged the UK Government to centre policy on families as a new Prime Minister is set to be announced on Monday.

In a speech to be given today she will say: “Family structure has gradually changed over the last 20 years. There are fewer married couples. There are more couples cohabiting.

“There are fewer ‘traditional’ nuclear family units. Family is always changing. It is dynamic and we need to find new ways to stay up to date with how it is changing so we can support it effectively.”

The research found that nearly half of British children now grow up outside the traditional two-parent household.

Single parents were slightly more common in Wales than the UK average. However, households in Wales included 2.1 adults on average, not just including parents, compared with 2.0 in England and Scotland.

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1 year ago

We are conservative in the main, and it is this that keeps things fairly stable. Hope that independence will cement this, while looking for ways to improve our land and lives.

1 year ago

I hope that having good family relations growing up with close family, would also mean a good sense of community, which in turn can be translated into a caring society, which would value things like the NHS, and protect it from the Thatcherite thinking of “I’m all right Jac” mentality. As a small nation we need to support each other as much as we can.

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