ERIC Number: ED458935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Reinforcing Obligations and Responsibilities between Generations: Policy Options from Cross-National Comparisons. Perspectives.
This discussion paper addresses two policy questions: (1) Can Canada afford to maintain its income security programs and social services, given the higher costs expected with an aging population? and (2) Do generous social programs discourage family responsibility or reinforce expectations of assistance within and between generations? The paper compares the philosophy, context, and outcomes of Canadian social programs with those of several other industrialized countries, including France, Germany, Sweden, and the United States. The legal obligations of Canadian families are compared to those in other jurisdictions and some social programs designed to help families meet their obligations are outlined. Informal services provided by family members for one another illustrate how families go beyond the minimum legal standards. It is argued that social programs can be made more comprehensive with some additional reforms and that more generous social programs reinforce both family and social responsibility. The paper maintains that youth unemployment and the requirement of continuous labor force participation to receive social benefits rather than the "burden" of the welfare state foment intergenerational conflict. The paper concludes by asserting that Canada should make greater efforts to reduce unemployment rates while ensuring that social benefits are not tied to full-time continuous employment, and that positive policy options--especially in the areas of job creation, employment training, and family benefits--are found in European countries such as Sweden and Germany. (Contains 42 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Family Programs, Family Relationship, Family Role, Federal Legislation, Foreign Countries, Government Role, Parent Responsibility, Policy Analysis, Public Policy, Social Responsibility, Social Services
Vanier Institute of the Family, 94 CentrePointe Drive, Ontario K2G 6B1, Canada ($3). Tel: 613-228-8500; Fax: 613-228-8007.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Vanier Inst. of the Family, Ottawa (Ontario).
Identifiers - Location: Canada