This edition of Footsteps is a challenging one. It shows some of the issues facing families today and in the future. It could make us feel quite depressed. Is there anything we can do? It raises many difficult issues that are easier to ignore. However, like the recent issue on women’s health (which has been much appreciated by readers) we hope that this issue, too, will help in raising awareness and discussion of sensitive issues. Families are the building bricks of societies. When they start to crumble, so too may society. We need family units – of whatever size – that provide a secure and loving base for children to grow and where people can share their needs, problems and joys openly. As part of the final stage of developing their population policy, Tearfund have included discussion of population issues in all their publications. They would be particularly pleased to have the response of Footsteps readers.

by Isabel Carter