Family Matters Institute
The Family Matters Institute seeks to equip the church to support the family. The breakdown of family life is the most serious problem facing Britain in the new century, but the church can help to stem the tide of breakdown. The initiative encourages and equips church members to run short courses on marriage, parenting, finance and unemployment. The tried and tested courses have been developed by experts, and don't need special expertise to run them, just a willingness to share with and support others. Churches are encouraged to link up with local family support services, so that these courses also reach families in the community who aren't normally in touch with the church.
To get this work going, the Family Matters team helps churches in an area to organise an event which will provide opportunities:
- to find out more about family breakdown
- to look at the resources available for running courses to help local families
- to establish positive relationships with local community workers, health visitors, social workers, teachers, and others
The Family Matters Institute is sponsored by the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection group. Since the publication of the Family Matters Report the Government has been keen to encourage statutory authorities and voluntary agencies to work together in helping families. The Family Matters Institute is helping the church to play its part in strengthening family life.
In March 2001, FMI was allocated funds from the Home Office Family Policy Unit to develop the Family Matters National Network,
- Developing a national network of models of partnership working between community leaders, churches and faith organizations focusing on projects relating to parenting and improvement of family relationships.
- Supporting voluntary groups involved in the delivery of front-line services providing parenting courses and communication skills training for families.
Other resources from Family Matters include the Family Matters Resource Guide, Your Money Counts Booklet on personal and family money management, and the report for the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group, The Cost of Family Breakdown.
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