Clare Simpson, PAS project manager explained that PAS had commissioned the evidence response to find out what census and other data showed about how families in Scotland were changing between the censuses of 2001 and 2011; and also to find out about gaps in data.
Families are changing. In many families, there are more grandparents and fewer children. There is more cohabitation; people marry when they are older; remarriages are increasing. Parents' aspirations have changed with many parents wanting to - or having to - work and have an active family life. Children have fewer siblings and are more likely to live with cohabiting or sole parents. More children are growing up in 'blended' families with 're-partnered' adults.
More effective public services can have large public paybacks. By supporting vulnerable families now, policy is likely to avoid negative outcomes in the future. In hard-pressed financial times, we need to ensure that services are meeting families' needs - partly to make sure we can afford it but primarily because families need support. We need to ensure that those families which need support most get it and that support meets their needs, particularly given rising levels of inequality and poverty.
The evidence response provides some of the information we need to do that.