ERIC Number: ED458018
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec-3
Reference Count: N/A
The Fence at the Edge of the Cliff: Approaching Family Policy in North America. Perspectives.
Noting that modern governments have a choice between a deliberate, coherent family policy and one of inconsistency and mischance, this paper presents the family policy of Quebec as a model of a coherent set of measures aimed explicitly at family well-being. This policy, started in the late 1980s, was put into place through the appointment of a Minister Responsible for the Family and the establishment of government structures to support family life, including a "Conseil de la famille" as well as a network of government respondents to coordinate government action influencing families. The paper details how the Quebec focus on the family, school, and the workplace reveals the view regarding what a society owes to its families. The paper further discusses definitions of family and how the definition guides family policy development. It is argued that two principles should guide government family policy: (1) policy should not diminish the family's capacity to fulfill its responsibilities; and (2) policies should enhance family capacity to fulfill its responsibilities. The paper discusses several policies related to family economic support, including tax measures, employment insurance, parental leave, child support, welfare, housing, and benefits to senior citizens. Services aimed at families are also examined, including those related to education, the medical system, child care, de-institutionalization, family violence, and child protection. The paper concludes by asserting that prevention is the key to any government initiative for improving the welfare of children and their families, and that developing and maintaining a coherent family policy is a practical investment in the future of Canadian society. (KB)
Descriptors: Child Support, Day Care, Family Life, Family (Sociological Unit), Family Violence, Foreign Countries, Government Role, Models, Poverty, Prevention, Public Policy, Welfare Services, Well Being
Vanier Institute of the Family, 94 Centrepointe Drive, Neapean, Ontario K2G 6B1, Canada ($3). Tel: 613-228-8500; Fax: 613-228-8007. For full text: http://www.vifamily.ca/pubs/fence.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Vanier Inst. of the Family, Ottawa (Ontario).
Identifiers - Location: Canada