• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Family Policy and the American Safety Net shows how families adapt to economic and demographic change. Government programs provide a safety net against the new risks of modern life. Family policy includes any public program that helps families perform their four universal obligations of caregiving, income provision, shelter, and transmission of citizenship. In America, this means that child care, health care, Social Security, unemployment insurance, housing, the quality of neighborhood schools, and antidiscrimination and immigration measures are all key elements of a de facto family policy. Yet many students and citizens are unaware of the history and importance of these programs. This book argues that family policy is as important as economic and defense policy to the future of the nation, a message that is ...

Family, Government, and the Safety Net
Family, government, and the safety net

Unlike economic, environmental, or defense policy, the term family policy is unfamiliar to most people. Even among family sociologists, family policy is usually linked to specific domains such as child poverty, work-family balance, or the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Family policy tends to be lumped under the general topic of social policy, but so doing blurs what is distinctive about it. Most people are unaware of the extent to which government programs support many different kinds of families. For that reason a significant portion of the American public believes government should be smaller yet at the same time they demand that their benefits from Social Security and Medicare continue without change.

Scholars ...

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