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Welfare and social policy - family study

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WELFARE AND SOCIAL POLICY -FAMILY HEALTH & CARE Word count 1,669 JANUARY 2008 MAXINE JACKSON What is family? * A social unit living together * People descended from a common ancestor * Primary social group, parents and children * Caring community What does a family consist of? Mum, Dad and 2.4 children? Maybe one parent, Mum or Dad. Perhaps two Mums or two Dads. What about Grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. The family is changing. The typical family headed by two parents has undergone substantial changes during the last century. There has been a rise in the number of single-person households. Fifty years ago this would have been socially unacceptable in Britain. In the past, people got married and remained married. Divorce was difficult, expensive and took a long time. Today, people's views on marriage are changing. Many couples live together without getting married. Only around 60% eventually get married. In the past, people married before they had children, now around 40% of children in Britain are born to unmarried parents. Before 1960 this was very unusual. People are generally getting married at a later age and many women do not want to have children immediately. They prefer to concentrate on their careers and put off having a baby until late thirties. ...read more.


Gender roles are changing; many men carry out domestic tasks such as ironing although they still remain in most households to be the woman's responsibility. Is it the increase of female independence that has increased the amount of reconstituted families? Financial help for these families is the same as the nuclear family with the exception of Child Support Maintenance. A government agency which collects money from the absent parent and pays an amount to the parent caring for the child. Extended families pretty much remain the same over the years; some people prefer to stay close to extended family members while others do not. Each family structure mentioned has its advantages along with disadvantages. No family is perfect. The extended family has the advantage of extra help with child care; where as the nuclear family along with the reconstituted family and lone parents must rely on 'outside' help for child care if they wish to work. The nuclear family and also the reconstituted family have the advantage of having more privacy with their partners then they would in an extended family unit. Reconstituted families in theory have the advantage that children have two sets of parents to help care for them, their biological parents and their step parents. ...read more.


Society now accepts remarriages and notices step families. Government implantations for tax credits and housing benefits help aid families when needed. In the past the man was the 'bread winner', yet in today's society the household income is generally contributed by both husband and wife. Also domestic duties are not always left for the women, men contribute to house work and child care. In some cases the man becomes a house husband, while the wife becomes the 'bread winner'. Every household is different and people have different views on what the ideal family should be. Today's society has open views and accepts many different family structures. BIBLOGRAPHY Field F (2001) Making Welfare Work London Transaction Publishers Hallam G Et al (2004) AS-Level sociology, Exam board: AQA The Revision Guide Newcastle upon Tyne Coordination Group Publications Ltd Jowell R et al (2000) British Social Attitudes London Sage publications ltd Moore S (2002) Social Welfare Alive! Cheltenham Nelson Thornes Ltd Park A Et al (2005) British Social Attitudes London Sage Publication Ltd Richards J (2003) Heath & Social Care hand book London Hodder & Stoughton Class hand out Dose the state support or subvert the family www.divorceuk.com www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax www.recuthies.co.uk www2.rgu.ac.uk/publicpolicy www.sociology.org. ...read more.

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