Grandparents are to get stronger rights to "step in" and help children when parents break up, under plans outlined by Nick Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister said it was "crazy" that the wider family did not feel they could intervene during damaging break-ups.
The Government is setting up a Childhood and Families Ministerial Task Force, chaired by David Cameron, to identify cost-effective policies.
Announcing the initiative in a speech at an event organised by Barnardo's in central London on Thursday, Mr Clegg said: "This Government believes that we strengthen our society by giving people the power to make choices over their lives.
"We believe in the informal networks between people that provide families with support, as well as the strong sense of community identity that helps make children feel secure. So it should come as no surprise that this agenda is being driven from the heart of government.
"This group will identify specific policy proposals that will make the biggest difference to children and families, tackling a hardcore of everyday bottlenecks that frustrate family life to give parents the freedom they need in the first place."
The task force is due to report its conclusions at around the end of the year. Alongside Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, its members will include Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, children's minister Sarah Teather, science and universities minister David Willetts, public health minister Anne Milton and economic secretary to the Treasury Justine Greening.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Clegg highlighted the need to give grandparents legal rights to "step in" and look after youngsters affected by parental splits. He said: "When marriages and relationships break down, a child's whole world can collapse too. Strong, stable and loving families are the cornerstone of a happy childhood. We all know the role grandparents can play in helping children through these difficult times. But often grandparents don't feel empowered to step in. That's crazy, and it needs to change."
Mr Clegg also denied that plans to axe child tax credits for better-off families in next week's Budget would undermine efforts to improve life for children. He told GMTV the payments now go to nine out of 10 families, meaning taxpayers' cash is being handed to parents "who don't really need it".
Shadow children's secretary Ed Balls said: "This Government can have no credibility on improving the life chances of children and families when they are cutting child trust funds, youth jobs, university places, free school meals for poorer families, and successful programmes to tackle teenage pregnancy and youth crime. And this is before proposals to cut child benefit and school breakfast clubs. The fact they've abolished the post of Secretary of State for Children tells you everything about the priorities of this new Government."