I really enjoyed reading this book and found it to be chock-full of good information. It is well-written and readable.

– Dorina Noble, Louisiana State University

The information provided is accurate and certainly very current; a definite strength of the text.

– Jessica Ziembroski, University of Notre Dame

With so many challenges facing families and governments in the United States today, this is an important time to be thinking about family policy. Respected family policy expert Shirley Zimmerman offers the only single-authored core textbook to provide a comprehensive and coherent introduction to family policy. The application of the frameworks to real life issues in family policy provides the opportunity for students to learn to think conceptually about family policy in relation to family problems. She clearly and cogently guides students through the foundations, policy frameworks, and implications of policy decisions for family well-being, ending with a carefully considered set of conclusions and implications for policy practice.

Family Policy offers concrete illustrative examples that bring the academic subject matter to life for students. Questions at the end of each chapter help students test their comprehension of the material, deepen their understanding of the subject matter, and spur classroom discussion.

The Institutional Framework: Family Policy as the Outcome of Institutional Arrangements

The Institutional Framework: Family Policy as the Outcome of Institutional Arrangements

The institutional framework: Family policy as the outcome of institutional arrangements


This chapter focuses on the institutional framework as it applies to the construction of solutions to family problems via the policies that governments enact. An institution has been defined as an interrelated system of social roles and norms organized around satisfying some important social need or function (Theodorson & Theodorson, 1969) (here in relation to families). The legislation enacted by state governments in selected years of the 1990s and by the federal government in selected years of the 1980s and 1990s was intended to satisfy some family need, whether with respect to child care, employment, income security, or health care.

Such government policies have different ...

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