14/08/2014 16:50 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Number Of Single-Parent Families Increasing By 20,000 A Year; 1 Million Children Have No Contact With Father

Millions of UK children are growing up with no contact with dad

The Centre for Social Justice claims that more than a million children in the UK have no contact with their father while they are growing up.

The CSJ says that the number of lone-parent families is increasing by 20,000 a year and will reach more than two million by the 2015 General Election.

Iain Duncan-Smith's right-leaning think tank warned that society is facing a 'tsunami' of family breakdowns, and branded the Government's response to it 'feeble'.

The CSJ also accused the Government of turning a blind eye to its commitment to promote family stability.

Sky News reports that the CSJ found some areas of the UK are 'men deserts' with children growing up with few male role models.

The CSJ's report, Fractured Families: Why Stability Matters, found that Liverpool has one of the highest densities of fatherless families. In one area, Riverside, there were no dads in 65 per cent of households.

In Sheffield, 75 per cent of families in the Manor Castle ward are headed up by a single parent, usually a woman.

The report claims that an absence of fathers is linked to higher rates of teenage crime, pregnancy and disadvantage.

The CSJ's director, Christian Guy, said the human, social and financial costs of fatherless households are 'devastating' for children and adults.

"For children growing up in some of the poorest parts of the country, men are rarely encountered in the home or in the classroom." he said. "This is an ignored form of deprivation that can have profoundly damaging consequences on social and mental development."

The report also found that the cost of family breakdown is an estimated £46bn a year, or £1,541 for every taxpayer in the country. This is expected to rise to £49bn by the end of this parliament.

The think tank claimed that for every £6,000 spent on dealing with family breakdowns, just £1 is spent on helping to keep the family unit together.

The CSJ says that Government has failed to stop the 'epidemic' of family breakdown, which it suggests it is fuelled by the instability of cohabiting couples rather than divorce.

"This has to change. Our political discourse about family policy must mature. Family breakdown is an urgent public health issue," Christian Guy said.

What do you think? Does our family set-up really affect our children or does child poverty have a more profound effect?

More on Parentdish: One in five children from a broken home lose contact with a parent. Don't let it be you.