Most babies born out of marriage by 2016, trend suggests

The majority of babies born in three years’ time will have parents who are not married, official figures suggest.

The proportion of children born out of wedlock rose in 2012 for the 40th consecutive year to 47.5%. By 2016 it is expected to rise to more than 50%.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics go back to 1938 when just 4% of babies had unmarried parents.

One former children’s minister called on the government to tackle family breakdown by supporting marriage.

Tim Loughton told the Daily Telegraph without marriage, people “drift in and out of relationships very easily”.

“In families where parents break up children do less well at school, are more likely to suffer mental health problems and are more likely to have substance abuse problems,” he said.

Written by BBC News. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Failing children’s homes more than double in a year

The number of children’s homes judged by Ofsted to be failing has more than doubled over the past year, while those classed as achieving the highest standards have fallen 40 per cent.

Provisional figures published today by the children’s services regulator shows that of the 1,986 children’s homes run by local authorities and independent sector providers to have undergone full inspections between April 2012 and March 2013, 309 (16 per cent) were classed as outstanding and 103 (five per cent) as inadequate.

By comparison, 518 of the 1,990 homes inspected in 2011/12 were judged to be outstanding (26 per cent) and 44 (two per cent) as inadequate.

A similar number of homes were assessed by Ofsted as being “good” between the two years (56 per cent in 2012/13 and 54 per cent in 2011/12), while the proportion classed as satisfactory/adequate rose slightly from 17 to 24 per cent over the two years.

However, the data suggests that a revised inspection framework introduced by Ofsted in April 2012 is resulting in fewer outstanding and more inadequate judgments, perhaps reflecting a toughening of standards expected from homes. The 2012/13 results brings scores almost exactly in line with those seen in 2010/11, after which a new inspection framework was introduced.

Written by Derren Hayes. To read the full article, click here.