Ten years of research – including hearing first hand from poverty-fighting charities – has shown that family breakdown is the backdrop to so many broken lives. In the past half a century there has been an escalation in family breakdown across Britain – divorce and separation, dysfunction and fatherlessness. Other developed countries have far more children growing up with both parents than here in Britain where just over two-thirds of all our children are in intact families. The Government has an opportunity to become a world leader in achieving a sustained and significant reduction in levels of family breakdown. They will need to take seriously the evidence that marriage and commitment make an enormous contribution to stability and that family breakdown itself can lead to and entrench poverty.