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Assess The Ways In Which Social Policies And Laws Affect Family Life

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Assess The Ways In Which Social Policies And Laws Affect Family Life Social Policy is the changes and interventions by the government in order to change or maintain social welfare, living conditions etc. There have been several significant changes in the law and social policy over the last century. Some of these changes have changed the way that families life and even created different family types. Civil partnerships became legal in Britain for the first time in 2004, followed by the right for homosexual couples to adopt. This has enabled gay couples to live equally to heterosexual couples and has taken away some of the stigma attached to homosexuality. Celebrities that have "come out" have provided a role model to some. Such as Elton John being one of the first to have a civil partnership and the controversial figure, Lady Gaga being an incredibly open voice for the gay community, proven at an equality march in Washington, October 2009. Some would criticise these changes in law, such as the New Right, who say that homosexuality is "unnatural" and that children cannot be bought up in an environment where there are two of the same sex. ...read more.


The New Right believe that the woman's natural role is within the household but the feminists would argue that this is a very traditional view and alienates women. In the UK the Department Of Health provides social care for certain members of the public. The earliest Act in England to offer support was the Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601, which referred to those in need of health or domestic care and housing. This 'care' could include payments, food, apprenticeships or referral to a workhouse. Social care became more formalised with the creation of social work in the in the 19th century. This shift is attributed to the end of the feudal system and the rise of industrialisation, which bought greater social deprivation. It also bought a decline in the support provided by family and close-knit communities as people became more geographically mobile and moved to different areas for work. When the Liberal Government came into power in 1906, the first means-tested pension came into force for people aged 70 and over. ...read more.


Another criticism is that the welfare state allegedly provides its "dependents" with a similar level of income to the minimum wage. Critics argue that fraud and economic inactivity are quite common now. The welfare state was created to provide certain people with a basic level of benefits in order to relieve poverty, but that from a New Right perspective, has been expanded to provide a larger number of people with more money than the country can afford. New Labour would argue the benefits system provides individuals with considerably less money than the national minimum wage, although people on welfare often find that they qualify for a variety of benefits, such as accommodation costs which usually make the overall benefits much higher than basic figures show. In conclusion, social policies and laws have affected family life considerably. Turn back the clocks a century and compare the differences. You wouldn't have openly homosexual couples, women working in an equal environment to men, pensions would have been freshly introduced, no NHS and hundreds of thousands of the poor living in slums. Changes in the law and social policy have changed this, and for the good, as many would agree. ...read more.

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