The Tories have pledged to put the family at the heart of their social policy.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond said Conservatives had to "pick up the challenge" of delivering social justice to the most disadvantaged in Britain.
He told activists at the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth that tackling poverty was a "moral and economic" imperative.
Labour had tried and failed to deal with some of the social consequences of the reversal of Britain's economic decline under Margaret Thatcher, he said.
Mr Hammond was speaking at the end of a debate on social justice in the hall.
Echoing a theme of the conference, Mr Hammond called for a "new direction that will succeed where Labour has failed".