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Friday, December 2, 2016
MPs call for government to support families
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¬†The Catholic Bishops' Conference agency, Caritas ≠ social action, was given a warm welcome and broad support from members of both houses of Parliament last week (Ascension Day - 19 May) for its work with families. Following the meeting Andy King MP began polling MPs for their support in an Early Day Motion (EDM Number 1237 titled Social Justice Month) - the statement to which backbench MPs sign up. They recognised the contribution made by the Catholic voluntary sector to family support. The EDM also calls the government to adopt a family focused perspective and promote family services. Bishop John Hine led the delegation from Caritas ≠ social action, accompanied by Directors of three Catholic charities who met with MPs from all parties and members of the house of Lords to give them an understanding of the contribution of the Catholic voluntary sector in the provision of services for children and families. Bishop John Hine opened the meeting saying: "Church has been an advocate for family life for many years. Family life today is set within a context of many changes today's families exist in many diverse forms. Caritas ≠ social action is empowered by the Bishops of England and Wales to address the implications for family support and social policy amongst the current changes and tensions, and to work together with Catholic charities involved in helping families adapt to these circumstances." Jim Richards, Director of Catholic Children's Society Westminster said: "Families are more willing to come forward through their own choice to a voluntary agency like ours, it isn't stigmatising. It means we can get stuck in early before problems exacerbate." Margaret Dight, Director of Catholic Children's Society Nottingham said: "It is galling to see so much money going into the statutory sector and the level of subsidy provided by the work of the voluntary sector, the loss of this contribution would be irretrievable. The majority of our work is with non-Catholics. The spending of the diocesan welfare agencies on services for children and families totals £48m, of which only £1m comes from government grants and the national lottery." As it was Ascension Day Bishop John celebrated mass in St Stephen's Chapel together with Catholics working in Parliament. For more information about Caritas ≠ social action, visit their website at: www.caritas-socialaction.org.uk Source: CCS
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