Williams gets to work in Lords speech
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for the UK's working culture to become more humane and less pressurised to improve the quality of family life.
Making his maiden speech in the House of Lords during a debate about children's rights, Rowan Williams also pressed for more joined up thinking across government about young peopleís needs.
Hinting at his support for establishing a children's commissioner Dr Williams argued that many parents had problems managing stress, anger and conflict, especially in disadvantaged families.
The archbishop told peers; "Much the most important work that can be done in the field of parenting skills is in addressing these issues.î
"At the same time we face a culture of work which is in itself inimical to the values we wish to develop.
"Fathers of young children work statistically the longest hours among our working population.î
"It is a reminder to us that while it is perfectly right to think of work as one of the more reliable routes out of poverty, that can only be true in a constructive way in the long run if our culture of work becomes more humane and less pressurised."
Such pressures were also felt by well-off families, said Dr Williams.
The Archbishop stressed the need for Whitehall to coordinate its efforts to tackle problems affecting children.
"Legislation affecting families and children crosses a wide number of departmental boundaries in government," he went on.
"And from time to time the cry has been raised that it is time to see some coordinating structure which will have that overview of the needs of families and children.
"I hope that challenge to a co-ordinating role within government will not go unheard.î he said.