The Children’s Commissioner for England has recently emphasised the critical role she believes family plays in children’s lives.

Speaking at the Catholic Union’s annual Craigmyle Lecture, Dame Rachel De Souza encouraged people to be more “vocal about the importance of families” as she believed “strong families are the fabric of any healthy society…”

A practising Catholic, Dame Rachel also credited St. Ignatius’ reform spirit for inspiring her work.

She also took the opportunity to introduce the “Big Ambition,” a forthcoming survey of young people in England seeking to understand their views on the state’s role.

“Children have told me that they do not believe that it is solely the role of the state to provide for them. The Church has an important role in shaping the world we want to live in” she said.

Last year, Dame Rachel launched the Family Review, which surveyed children across England about their views on family. Seventy-eight per cent of respondents said they would turn to family first with a problem.

Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, said: “We are delighted that Dame Rachel was able to join us and give such a fascinating talk. Over the years, the Craigmyle Lecture has given a platform to many prominent public figures to talk about many different subjects, but few matters are more important than how we create a society where children can flourish.

“It was good to hear Dame Rachel place such a strong emphasis on family life as part of her talk, this is something the Catholic Union has championed for many years. Please do consider supporting the work of the Catholic Union today so that we can continue to put on events like this free of charge and open to all.”