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.
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