Cristina Odone

Cristina Odone is Head of the Family Policy Unit at the Centre for Social Justice

How the Tories failed stay-at-home mums

We know that Westminster politicians do not always listen to ordinary voters. But there are few issues on which our representatives are more impervious to entreaties from their electorate than childcare. Too many politicians look on children as the impish impediment to both parents being in paid employment, the obstacles to Mum and Dad paying

The quiet truth about two-parent families

Imagine a key that opened the door to a place where children did better at school, were less likely to become dependent on drink or drugs, less likely to run into trouble with the police, and ended up in a better job. Now, imagine that key being jealously guarded by a group of well-heeled families.

Steven Spielberg and the truth about divorce

Steven Spielberg has suggested that The Fabelmans, his latest film, is a $40 million therapy project. The Fabelmans focuses on divorce and in doing so holds a mirror to the director’s own parents’ split. In its unblinking depiction of what has for so many become a rite of passage – almost one in two marriages end in divorce — the film makes for uncomfortable viewing. Spielberg refuses to indulge those parents who depict marital

Johnny Depp and the truth about male domestic abuse victims

James looks nothing like Johnny Depp. For one thing, he is a lot taller than the 5 foot 8 star; and unlike Depp, he doesn’t sport 37 tattoos. But James identifies with much the Pirate of the Caribbean star is telling the court in Virginia (and the millions following proceedings through social media).   The first time James

Scotland’s inspiring success story with at-risk children

I never thought the Scots were more emotionally intelligent than the English. A year spent researching children at risk for the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) proved to me that they are. As documented in the CSJ’s latest report, Safely Reducing the Number of Children Going into Care, the Scots are far more advanced, in

The parent gap: what’s happened to mums and dads in Britain?

During a recent webinar with MPs, I learned that parents in Bradford were up in arms because their children had not received their free spectacles. On a visit to the optometrist, organised by the school, the children had been diagnosed with failing eyesight. Why had the school failed to follow up in providing these near-sighted

A class of their own

I never meant to conduct a social experiment. I never intended to undermine anyone’s confidence in their judgement. And I certainly never meant to arouse so much hostility. Yet by choosing to home-school my six-year-old this is precisely what I seemed to be doing. Like many other desperate parents, I hadn’t got our first choice

‘Don’t Google this’, the doctor told me when I got my daughter’s test results

‘Don’t Google this’, the doctor ordered. The command – with its authoritarian tone; implied threat (if I did, I’d find out something sinister); distrust in my ability to sift and understand information; suspicion of uncontrollable emotion – would have raised my hackles in any circumstances. As it was, I’d already been shocked by the GP’s telephone speculations and could not reply.