There are a great many single adults who would very much like to have a family of their own. With rates of marriage declining sharply over the last three decades, about 30% of young adults today may not experience a marital relationship at all. Some will live together with another person in a marriage-like cohabiting relationship, but these relationships have much higher rates of breakdown. Added to those who will never find a long-term partner are those who have lost a long-term partner through separation and divorce, or widowhood. One of the greatest problems our society is now facing, and will face to a greater extent in the coming decades, is loneliness.
At the same time as the marital family with children has declined as the normal adult family form, civic organisations of all kinds have also declined. Churches, other religious communities and local sports associations are amongst the few remaining forms of connection beyond the family and the workplace.
How do we build better communities of care and support for people, particularly those who feel isolated and lonely? Britain has appointed a Minister to be responsible for responding to loneliness and has developed a national loneliness reduction strategy. There have been calls for such a role in Australia.
We also need to consider how better local communities can better support parents with children at home who are struggling.
Reading Time: 4 minutes. It is never God’s design for children not to be with their biological families, but when this isn’t safe, we need families for these kids – families that will offer hope, healing, and understanding.”