Should families be a focus for policies?

Policy Background Paper (AIFS) No 5


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Content type
Research report

May 1984

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Emphasising the lack of a single standard model of family life, this paper concerns itself with the dilemmas of family policies as such and highlights the necessity for governments to think about policy impacts as these vary from one family to another. The author argues that a family perspective in policy making is useful despite the obvious pitfalls and he offers two propositions as to the usefulness of adopting a focus on families in the process of developing social and economic policies. The first is that because of the changing nature of families, their varied structures be taken into account by monitoring the effects of specific policies on families so that the nature and extent of such impact be known and understood. The second proposition is that a focus on families can be an important ideological strand in the development of progressive social policies.

Policy background paper (Australian Institute of Family Studies) no. 5