After writing a letter to The Times, Ellison ‘was contacted by people who shared his concern that the breakdown of the traditional family could have long-lasting and serious consequences.’ Thus was the Responsible Society born. It later changed its name to Family and Youth Concern.
Ellison was concerned about the effects of the ‘permissive society’ and in particular what the Trust describes as ‘significant changes in both laws and social attitudes in such areas as divorce, having children outside of marriage, abortion and pornography.’ The Trust claims that it is not ideological but rather ‘research-based’. ‘There is no area in social science in which the evidence stacks up so completely on one side’, it claims: ‘marriage and traditional family life are associated with good outcomes in terms of health, wealth and other indicators of well-being.’
The Responsible Society was first registered as a Charity (No.266382) on 11 October 1973. According to Charity Commission records, this was under the name of the Responsible Society Research and Education Trust, and then the Family Education Trust, which operated until 30 June 1999 when it 'ceased to exist'. The Trust's original charitable objectives were 'to carry out or promote research into the social, medical, economic and psychological consequences of sexual behaviour and to publish the results of such research'. 
In 1999 a 'new' charity called the Family Education Trust was registered with the Commission. (Charity no.1070500).Its founding principles included a second objective to the one outlined above. This was 'to establish, carry out and promote research into the family founded on marriage; and to publish and disseminate the information and data obtained therefrom.