A period of unprecedented change in British family life, in which adults lead more isolated lives, bringing up children on their own or not having them at all, was described in a report last week. The report says it is still too early to talk of the death of the “traditional family”, because four-fifths of dependent children still live in a family with two parents, and nine in 10 of those parents are married. But other statistics included in the report demonstrate significant changes in family demographics with profound, if often unexplored, consequences. More than 6.5m people in Britain –about 28% of households- live on their own, three times as many as 40 years ago, the report says.
The report dispels* some common misconceptions: that people living alone are not part of a family, when in fact the family remains “the key social network and primary source of informal care and support”. The extended family continues to be important, although contact with relatives has lessened, and family members are the main providers of care for elderly relatives. Grandparents are still important in childcare.
Mr Straw, the Home Secretary, last week confirmed his commitment to promoting the family, but said he wanted to “develop policies that support people in families as they really are today, not according to some outdated ideal”.
Find a synonym in the text for each of the words below.
- a) account:
- b) rearing:
- c) continues to be:
- d) plans of action: