Chapter

Impacts of policy on family life

Linda Hantrais

in Family policy matters

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9781861344717
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302322 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861344717.003.0007
Impacts of policy on family life

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This chapter aims to explore further the relationship between policy and changing family structure. It reviews some of the approaches used to track the policy process and determines whether policies appear to be achieving their intended objectives. Qualitative approaches that consider the context specificity and the motives and meanings of actors provide a useful complementary tool for fleshing out the possible effects of social policies. They are particularly valuable when they examine the totality of the process from policy formulation through to implementation and practice, as translated into the lived experience of families. The chapter also analyses the results of quantitative impact assessments of family policy measures, in conjunction with qualitative analyses, to identify and compare the possible influence of public policy on decisions taken about family life across Europe. An indicator of the impact that policy measures are having on families and of their effectiveness in reaching the population targeted is the extent to which those eligible to receive them take up benefits and services. High take-up rates can be interpreted as an indication of the acceptability of public-policy provision, while low take-up may suggest that policy intervention in a particular area is not widely accepted.

Keywords: policy; family; relationship; Europe; population

Chapter.  14605 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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