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What is Family Policy?

by: Kendall Willey

What is Family Policy? 4473

Marketplace > Oklahoma State University > HDFS > 4473 > What is Family Policy
Kendall Willey
OK State
GPA 3.7
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About this Document

Introduction notes from week 2 of class. What is Family Policy? I have outlined key points and terms to accompany powerpoint notes and study materials.
Policy, Law, and Advocacy
Dr. Henderson
Class Notes




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kendall Willey on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 4473 at Oklahoma State University taught by Dr. Henderson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Policy, Law, and Advocacy in HDFS at Oklahoma State University.


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Date Created: 01/22/16
Notes  from  Week  One:     Tuesday  1/19-­‐     1.  What  is  family  policy?     a.  There  is  not  one,  clear  definition.  This  is  due  to  the  short  and  debatable   history  surrounding  family  policy.     b.  Emerged  in  the  1970’s  but  has  always  been  around.  Before  the  1970’s   family  policy  was  more  of  a  local  and  church  matter,  handled  case  by  case.  It  wasn’t   until  the  1970’s  that  it  became  a  more  federal  and  countrywide  issue.     2.  Implicit  Laws:  policy  approaches  that  do  not  specifically  address  families;   however,  policies  do  influence  them.  They  may  not  directly  address  family   functioning  but  they  do  play  a  role.     Ex.  Speed  zones;  the  city  sets  a  speed  limit  in  a  neighborhood  so  that  people   much  drive  slower  here.  This  was  not  done  specifically  for  the  family  but  it  helps  to   ensure  the  families  safety  so  it  indirectly  is  helping  the  family.     3.  Explicit  Laws:  policy  approaches  designed  to  address  family  formations;  family   member  legal  protection;  family  engagement  with  the  larger  society,  etc.  They  are   created  to  reach  a  specific  objective  for  the  families.     Ex.  Divorce  and  Marriage  Laws;  these  directly  effect  the  family  and  their   structure  and  legal  protections  and  benefits.     4.  What  is  family  policy  and  the  family  impact  lens?     a.  It  incorporates  the  significance  of  family  roles.  We  know  that  family  is   important,  families  and  parents  are  the  first  socializing  unit  children  have  in  life.     5.  Family  policy  focuses  on  5  explicit  functions:     a.  Family  structure:  the  make  up  of  the  family  unit     b.  Partner  relationships:  parents,  siblings,  etc.  and  how  they  interact     c.  Economic  support:  critical     d.  Child  rearing:  who’s’  involved?     e.  caregiving:  is  the  family  supporting  others  as  well?  Grandparents,  other   extended  family?     6.  One  key  thing  to  remember  is  we  want  to  look  at  how  things  influence  good   family  outcomes,  this  is  key.     7.  There  will  always  be  costs  vs.  benefits     a.  we  will  have  to  be  willing  to  give  up  personal  needs  and  wants  to  benefit   the  larger  whole,  aka  the  family  unit.     8.  This  also  plays  into  individualism  vs.  community     a.  there  needs  to  be  a  balance,  there  is  no  right  or  wrong  choice.  There  must   be  a  little  of  both.       Thursday  1/21-­‐   (Continued  from  Tuesday’s  lecture)     9.  Family  status  may  shape  eligibility  for  benefits.     a.  policies  are  in  place  to  help  families     b.  families  tend  to  get  more  and  or  better  benefits  that  single  people     10.  Family-­‐Focused  policies  or  programs:  what  is  enacted  or  established     11.  Family-­‐Centered  practices:  how  policies  or  programs  are  implemented       a.  Sometimes  policies  that  seem  good  and  family-­‐focused  are  not  good   family-­‐centered  when  implemented.     12.  The  Definition  of  the  family:     Influenced  by…   a.  Cohabitation  and  financial  support  of  children   b.  Same  sex  partnerships  and  parenting   c.  Race,  ethnicity,  and  cultural  factors  on  marriage   d.  Globalization     Defining…   a.  Cannot  be  developed  by  research  or  court  cases   b.  Law  books  do  not  have  a  specific  definition  of  the  family   c.  Courts  have  made  decisions  on  a  case-­‐by-­‐case  basis.     13.  Structural  vs.  Functional  meanings   a.  Structural  meanings:  how  the  family  is  set  up.  Can  be  very  different  and  unique.   Ex.  Traditional  family,  long-­‐term  foster  families,  and  cohabitating  families   b.  Functional  meanings:  tangible  vs.  intangible  support.  Economic  and  emotional   support.  Ex.  Grandparents  send  their  kids  money  on  their  birthdays,  gift  giving,  and   extended  family  vacations.     What  to  take  away  from  these  notes  and  lecture:   1.  The  family  is  a  complex  and  unique  thing.  There  is  no  right  way  or  wrong  way   to  form  or  have  a  family.     2.  You  cannot  have  one  definition  for  the  family  because  no  two  are  exactly   alike.  There  will  be  different  beliefs,  cultures,  and  make  ups  that  are  unique  to  every   family.     Key  terms:   1.  Implicit  vs.  explicit  laws   2.  Family-­‐Focused  vs.  Family-­‐Centered  Policies   3.Structural  vs.  Functional  meanings  of  family  


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